For the first time in at least 50 years, a judge has intervened to allow an adult woman to terminate her pregnancy.
When Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble handed down the temporary restraining order Thursday, Kate Cox, 31, of Dallas burst into tears. Cox and her husband desperately wanted to have this baby, but her doctors said continuing the nonviable pregnancy posed a risk to her health and future fertility, according to a historic lawsuit filed Tuesday.
“The idea that Ms. 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,” Gamble said.
The fascist boot dropped quickly:
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton responded Thursday afternoon in a letter addressed to three Houston hospitals saying the temporary order would “not insulate hospitals, doctors, or anyone else, from civil and criminal liability for violating Texas’ abortion laws.” The Texas Office of the Attorney General, which challenged Cox’s claims at Thursday’s hearing, may try to ask a higher court to intervene but had not as of Thursday afternoon.
Here’s Paxton’s threatening letter:
Just arriving in my inbox: ghoulish fuckery from Texas AG Ken Paxton's office threatening "hospitals, doctors, or anyone else" with first-degree felony prosecutions in the case of the the Texas woman who's sought a court order to end an unviable pregnancy pic.twitter.com/F51D8rRcUq— Andrea Grimes (@andreagrimes) December 7, 2023
More as this story develops.
When abortion bans produce particularly horrible outcomes, “moderate” opponents of abortion will claim that medical exemptions exist and if women can’t obtain abortions in emergency situations their doctors are just misreading the law. But as Texas fighting tooth and nail to deny Cox a medical exemption makes clear, the ambiguity is a deliberate strategy — doctors are under constant threat, and the chilling effect on access to critical medical care is inevitable and willful. Medical exemptions mean nothing when the persons responsible for enforcing the law think women never have a legitimate medical necessity.