Cox’s fetus received a diagnosis of trisomy 18 on November 27, a genetic abnormality often resulting in miscarriage, stillbirth, or early post-birth death.
Paxton, the Texas Attorney General, urgently appealed to the Texas Supreme Court following a temporary restraining order granted by District Court Judge Maya Guerra Gamble. The order permitted Cox to undergo an abortion, prompting Paxton’s office to assert that Cox did not convincingly demonstrate meeting the medical exception criteria. The filing cautioned against turning Texas courts into “revolving doors of permission slips for abortions.”
Originating from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Cox initiated a lawsuit last Tuesday, seeking a restraining order to prevent the enforcement of Texas’ abortion ban in her specific case. Notably, this legal challenge is the first of its kind since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, a landmark decision ensuring abortion rights nationwide.
Cox, aged 31 and approximately 20 weeks pregnant when she filed the lawsuit, detailed in her legal action that continuing the pregnancy would necessitate her third Caesarian section. Such a procedure could jeopardize her future fertility, a concern for Cox and her husband.
While Cox’s doctors believed abortion was medically necessary, they hesitated without a court order due to uncertainties surrounding how the exception would be interpreted. Potential penalties, including life imprisonment and loss of medical licenses, loomed under Texas’ abortion laws.
Paxton, in response to the court order, cautioned hospitals and medical professionals that they were not shielded from prosecution or civil liability for violating the state’s abortion laws. This warning extended to three hospitals where Cox’s doctor held admitting privileges.
Meanwhile, in Kentucky on the preceding Friday, another pregnant woman filed a class action lawsuit challenging the state’s abortion ban while the Texas case remained pending.