The Texas Supreme Court, in a late Friday ruling, temporarily halted a pregnant woman, Kate Cox, from obtaining an emergency abortion. The court suspended a lower court’s decision that would have allowed Cox, who sought a court-ordered abortion due to her unborn baby’s fatal genetic condition and complications in her pregnancy, to proceed with the procedure. The court’s order stated, “Without regard to the merits, the Court administratively stays the district court’s December 7, 2023, order.”
The court did not provide a timeline for a full ruling but emphasized that the case would remain pending. Cox, currently 20 weeks pregnant, faces health risks associated with her pregnancy.
Cox’s attorney, Molly Duane, expressed hope that the state’s request would be swiftly rejected, emphasizing the urgency of medical care and stating, “This is why people should not need to beg for healthcare in a court of law.”
The ruling followed Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s petition to the high court to intervene in the case. Paxton sought an emergency stay of the district court judge’s ruling, which had granted a 14-day temporary restraining order against the state’s abortion ban to allow Cox to terminate her pregnancy legally.
Paxton, who has threatened prosecution against those facilitating the abortion, asserted that Cox had not demonstrated a “life-threatening” medical condition related to her pregnancy. He warned hospitals of potential civil and criminal liability for complying with the district court’s ruling.
Cox, 31, had sought an emergency hearing for an abortion upon learning of her unborn baby’s trisomy 18 diagnosis, a fatal genetic condition. Her suit detailed severe cramping and fluid leaks, citing the risk of complications threatening her life and future fertility.
Before the state Supreme Court’s involvement, Cox’s attorneys criticized Paxton’s petition, alleging a “disregard for Ms. Cox’s life, fertility, and the rule of law.” They urged the court to reject Paxton’s threats of prosecution against medical professionals assisting with the abortion.
Cox’s attorney did not disclose specifics about when and where the abortion would take place but emphasized their commitment to facilitating her care “the fastest way” possible.