Texas judge grants pregnant woman’s request to get an abortion

A Texas judge on Thursday granted an emergency order allowing a pregnant woman whose fetus has a fatal diagnosis to get an abortion in the state.

Late last month, Kate Cox, a Dallas-area mother of two, found out that the developing fetus has trisomy 18, a condition likely to cause stillbirth or the death of the baby shortly after it’s born, according to her attorney Molly Duane.

Texas law prohibits almost all abortions with very limited exceptions. So Cox and her lawyers sought a temporary restraining order that would block the state’s abortion bans and enable her to terminate her pregnancy.

“Kate Cox’s life and future fertility are at great risk, and according to her doctor, the medical care that she needs is an abortion,” Duane said in the hearing. She added that within the last two days, Cox had to visit an emergency room for a fourth time “for pregnancy symptoms including severe cramps leaking fluid and elevated vital signs.”

“Many of Miss Cox’s health risks during this pregnancy will put her life in danger if left untreated, and carrying this pregnancy to term will significantly increase the risks to her future fertility, meaning that she and her husband may not be able to have more children in the future,” Duane said.

Judge Maya Guerra Gamble quickly granted the requested order.

“The idea that Miss Cox wants desperately to be a parent, and this law might actually cause her to lose that ability is shocking and would be a genuine miscarriage of justice,” the judge said when she announced her decision.

Johnathan Stone, the attorney representing the state of Texas in the hearing, argued that Cox and her husband had not sufficiently demonstrated that they would suffer “immediate and irreparable injury” without an abortion. He pushed instead for an evidentiary hearing, saying an emergency court order would enable the couple to get an abortion that “can’t be undone” before the court could fully consider the evidence.

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