AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas mother of two Kate Cox became pregnant again in August, but soon got devastating news: Her baby's condition was fatal and he would likely either be born dead or stillborn. Will die soon after.
Tragic circumstances have pushed 31-year-old Cox to the center stage an unprecedented challenge A Texas judge this week allowed Cox to get an abortion over abortion restrictions that are changing the landscape for women in the US, but the state's highest court stop that decision Friday night.
Whether Cox, who is 20 weeks pregnant, can legally get an abortion under certain exceptions to the state's ban is now in limbo while the Texas Supreme Court considers her case. The court, which is made up of nine Republican justices, gave no timetable for when it might rule.
, Our customer's life is at stake, The state of Texas is playing a disgusting political game. This fight is not over,” the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Cox, posted on Twitter on Saturday.
Cox lives in the Dallas area with her husband and two children, ages 3 and 1. According to her lawsuit filed this week in Austin, neither pregnancy was easy and she had to have cesarean sections for both deliveries.
According to the lawsuit, in October, doctors told Cox that her fetus was at high risk for a condition called trisomy 18, which has a very high chance of miscarriage or stillbirth, and a low survival rate. Her lawyers say Cox has been to the emergency room at least four times, including this week, and the risks to her health are increasing as her pregnancy continues.
Doctors told Cox that going into labor or carrying the baby could jeopardize her ability to have another child in the future.
Cox, "I would really like to have another child." told NBC News this week "So, I'm hopeful for my health, for my family," she said after a lower court judge granted her permission to have an abortion.
Why did Texas say she's not eligible for an abortion?
Republican Texas Attorney General Kahn Paxton, who is leading efforts to block abortion, says Cox does not meet the requirements for a medical exception under the state's ban. Her office argues that Cox did not demonstrate that the pregnancy placed her life in imminent danger and notes that she was sent home after visiting hospital emergency rooms.
Texas' ban makes no exceptions for fetal anomalies. There are no recent statistics on the frequency of termination for fetal anomalies in the US. But experts say This is a small percentage of the total procedures.
"The Texas Legislature did not intend for the courts to become a revolving door of permission slips to obtain an abortion," Paxton's office wrote in a filing to the state Supreme Court.
Has Texas allowed any abortions since the ban went into effect?
Texas is one of 13 states that banned abortion at nearly all stages of pregnancy after Roe was overturned. Texas has long been at the forefront of strict abortion laws in the US, and even now, efforts are underway to It will be made harder for pregnant women to leave Texas For states where the process is legal.
Under Texas' restrictions, doctors who perform abortions could face criminal charges, with sentences up to life in prison. They may also face lawsuits from private citizens, who have the right to sue someone who helps a woman get an abortion, such as a doctor's staff. The law does not threaten the mother with any legal consequences.
Fewer than 50 women have had abortions in Texas since the ban took effect last year, according to state health data. No one is known to have faced criminal charges or been prosecuted.
Who qualifies for the medical exception under Texas's ban has become one of the biggest legal questions since Roe was overturned. A separate case before the Texas Supreme Court Arguments that lawmakers made the requirements too vagueDue to which doctors are afraid to perform abortion under virtually any circumstances.
It is likely to take several months for a decision to be reached in that case.
What about the Kentucky case?
Hours before the Texas Supreme Court put Cox's case on hold Friday, an eight-weeks-pregnant Kentucky woman also filed a lawsuit in state court seeking abortion rights.
Unlike Cox's case, the Kentucky lawsuit seeks class-action status to include other women who are or will be pregnant and want an abortion. Republican state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, whose office has defended the state's anti-abortion laws, has said his office is reviewing the lawsuit.
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