A woman in Texas is suing because, given that medical professionals generally don’t trust the vague medical exemptions in Texas’s abortion criminalization statutes, she cannot find a doctor to terminate her non-viable and life-threatening pregnancy:
For the first time since Roe was decided in 1973, a pregnant adult is asking a court to step in so she can have an abortion.
In late November, Kate Cox received the confirmation she’d been dreading: her fetus likely wasn’t going to survive. Cox, who lives in Texas, is 20 weeks pregnant. Doctors told her continuing the pregnancy could threaten her life.
Cox is now asking a judge to grant a temporary restraining order to halt the enforcement of Texas’ near total ban so she can terminate her pregnancy. “Kate Cox needs an abortion,” reads the first line of Cox’ petition, “and she needs it now.”
Cox is represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights. The organization is currently arguing in the Texas Supreme Court that pregnant people with medical complications have not been receiving proper care in the state. As I have previously reported, that case is about situations like the one Cox is experiencing right now in which vague exceptions to abortion bans undermine clarity of care…
n the last month, according to the petition, Cox has been to three different emergency rooms after suffering from extreme cramping and other complications. After multiple appointments and tests, her medical team confirmed that her wanted pregnancy was causing imminent danger to her health. At an appointment on November 28, Cox found out that her fetus was diagnosed with full trisomy 18, a chromosomal disorder that causes fetuses to die before or soon after birth. “Their baby was likely to pass in utero,” the petition says, “be stillborn, or only live for a week at most.”
With each day that passes, Cox’s doctors explained, her life is more at risk. Cox and her husband, who is also listed on the petition along with her provider, have two other children who were both delivered through cesarean surgeries. Continuing the pregnancy until the fetus passes, or until birth, “puts her at high risk for severe complications threatening her life and future fertility, including uterine rupture and hysterectomy,” the petition notes. Her providers said their “hands are tied” due to Texas’ abortion ban.
I don’t think the Alito/Barrett argument that reproductive rights are obsolete because in some jurisdictions you can drop a new baby off at the post office is going to do much for Cox here either,
Given that the fetus is non-viable, balancing the interests in this case should be trivially easy unless the primary point of the statute is to punish and terrorize women rather than protecting fetal life per se…oh shit.