A Texas judge allowed a 31-year-old woman to terminate her pregnancy—a decision that has upended Texas’ stringent abortion laws. Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble’s ruling came in response to a historic lawsuit filed by Katie Cox and her husband, who, despite their strong desire to welcome their baby, faced the harsh reality of a nonviable pregnancy that posed significant health risks to Katie and jeopardized her future fertility.
In the details of the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Katie Cox wrote that when she was already 20 weeks pregnant, she received a devastating diagnosis of full trisomy 18, a chromosomal abnormality that is often fatal before or shortly after birth. Katie Cox and her husband, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, filed the lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order a week after receiving the grim diagnosis.
“It is not a matter of if I will have to say goodbye to my baby, but when. I’m trying to do what is best for my baby and myself, but the state of Texas is making us both suffer,” Katie Cox said in a statement.
Before the recent changes in Texas abortion laws following the overturn of Roe v. Wade, physicians had the authority to terminate pregnancies due to lethal fetal anomalies at any stage. However, Katie’s doctors found their hands tied by the current legal restrictions, allowing abortion only when the life of the pregnant patient is at risk.
Judge Gamble expressed concern over the potential injustice faced by Katie, stating, “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.”
As the judge delivered the groundbreaking decision to allow Katie to be exempt from the law, Katie became overwhelmed with emotion, bursting into tears.
In response to the judge’s decision, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a letter, asserting that the temporary order would not shield hospitals or medical professionals from legal consequences. This legal development has stirred significant debate and heightened awareness regarding the broader implications of restrictive abortion laws in the state.
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