Texas woman successfully sues state over her right to abortion

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Source: Guttmacher Institute

The Center for Reproductive Rights is representing Kate Cox in an emergency lawsuit seeking an injunction on Texas' abortion ban to terminate her pregnancy. Just this morning, a judge granted his request to give Cox access to the reproductive health care she needs without fear of repercussions.

Cox, a mother of two from Dallas, was devastated when her fetus was diagnosed with full trisomy 18, a fatal chromosomal abnormality that causes spinal abnormalities, umbilical hernias, clubfoot and other debilitating conditions. Her doctors then recommended an abortion. If the pregnancy is carried to term, she is at higher risk of miscarriage or stillbirth, as well as gestational hypertension, diabetes and other complications due to the need for a cesarean section. This would also impact Cox's ability to carry a third child in the future.

Texas has the most extreme abortion bans in the country, with abortions completely banned with very few exceptions. The ban is enforced through private lawsuits, creating vigilante groups that target both patients and doctors for aiding and abetting abortions. Cox v. Texas is the first case of its kind in 50 years. The lawsuit asks the judge to issue a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of Texas' abortion bans against Cox, her husband, her gynecologist and her medical staff.

The Texas Supreme Court is already hearing another abortion case, Zurawski v. Texas, in which 20 women and two doctors are suing the state to clarify which medical exemptions are allowed under current abortion restrictions. A district judge originally ruled that the abortion ban did not apply to patients with life-threatening medical complications or fatal fetal abnormalities. However, the Attorney General appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court. Cox simply didn't have time to wait for the Supreme Court to decide this case.

Access to essential, life-saving healthcare should not force individuals to take legal action. Abortion is a human right.

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