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Texas woman sues to have an abortion after fatal diagnosis of fetus

Kate Cox is 20 weeks pregnant and says doctors told her continuing the pregnancy also puts her life at risk from complications.
Texas woman sues to have an abortion after fatal diagnosis of fetus
Posted at 9:00 AM, Dec 06, 2023

A pregnant Texas woman is asking the courts to allow her to have an abortion after doctors gave the fetus a fatal diagnosis.

Kate Cox, 30, is 20 weeks pregnant and has been told by doctors that her baby has a genetic condition known as trisomy 18 that makes the baby likely to die in the womb or live for a week at most after birth. Continuing the pregnancy also puts Cox's life at risk from complications, including a ruptured uterus, the lawsuit states.

SEE MORE: Texas abortion ban may have contributed to births of nearly 10K babies

However, Cox says that doctors are fearful they could face criminal charges if they provide her with an abortion. The procedure is prohibited in nearly all stages of pregnancy under Texas law.

“Kate Cox needs an abortion, and she needs it now,” the lawsuit states.

Cox, who's a mother of two already, says it's not a matter of if she will have to say goodbye to her baby, but when. Her lawsuit adds that Texas state law is making both her and the baby suffer. Cox's lawyer said a court has not yet scheduled a hearing on the matter. 

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The lawsuit was filed one week after the Texas Supreme Court held a hearing to discuss whether the state's abortion law was too restrictive for pregnant women who experience complications. The case, Zurawski v. State of Texas, was filed in March by the Center for Reproductive Rights, a global legal advocacy organization, on behalf of 20 women who said they were forced to carry out their pregnancies because of the state’s abortion ban despite serious risks to their health. 

Unlike a lot of the other lawsuits that have been filed around the country since Roe v. Wade was overturned, the goal of this one is not to repeal the state's abortion ban, but rather to force more clarity on when exceptions are allowed. A decision on the case could take months.

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