Texas Supreme Court Pauses Lower Court Ruling Permitting Woman To Have An Abortion After Fatal Fetal Diagnosis

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Texas Supreme Court paused a ruling from a lower court allowing a pregnant woman to have an abortion.

On Friday, the court said it was staying a Thursday ruling from a district court that allowed 31-year-old Katie Cox to have an abortion. Cox, who is 20 weeks pregnant, has a fetus that has been diagnosed with full trisomy, which is a condition that results in miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of the infant in the hours, days or weeks following the birth.

“The petition for mandamus and motion for temporary relief remain pending before the Court,” the Texas Supreme Court said in the ruling.

Cox’s doctors have said have said carrying her pregnancy to term will force a cesarean section or induction that would result in serious injury. If labor is induced in Cox’s case, she could face a uterine rupture due to previous C-sections. An additional C-section could also endanger her future fertility.

“While we still hope that the Court ultimately rejects the state’s request and does so quickly, in this case we fear that justice delayed will be justice denied,” Molly Duane, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Cox in the case, said in a press release. “We are talking about urgent medical care. Kate is already 20 weeks pregnant. This is why people should not need to beg for healthcare in a court of law.”

The Lone Star state outlaws every abortion starting at fertilization. It also has a “bounty law,” which rewards private citizens who sue people who have assisted someone in obtaining an abortion.

“Future criminal and civil proceedings cannot restore the life that is lost if Plaintiffs or their agents proceed to perform and procure an abortion in violation of Texas law,” Texas Attorney General Paxton’s office said to the court, per The AP.