Woman seeking emergency life-saving abortion targeted by right-wing groups

Kate Cox during a local news interview.

A Texas woman seeking an emergency abortion has become the target of hard-line conservative groups.

Kate Cox sued the state to obtain an abortion earlier this month after her foetus was diagnosed with a fatal condition that doctors said threatened the mother’s fertility.

The genetic disorder, Trisomy 18, has a 95 per cent miscarriage or stillbirth rate and can put the mother’s life in danger.

“There’s no outcome here that results in us taking home a healthy baby girl,” Cox said.

Because of Texas’ strict laws on abortion, passed in the wake of last year’s overturning of the landmark Roe V Wade case, Cox was unable to obtain an abortion without doctors potentially facing hefty fines or prosecution.

A lower court judge ruled in favour of mother-of-two Cox, but Texas attorney general Ken Paxton – an infamously anti-abortion conservative – threatened to punish any doctor offering an abortion.

You may like to watch

Paxton filed an appeal with the state supreme court, which ruled that Cox would not be allowed to get an abortion in Texas.

She has, therefore, been forced to travel to another state to undergo the procedure – which is not illegal – according to the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented her in the case.

“This past week of legal limbo has been hellish for Kate,” the centre’s chief executive, Nancy Northup, said. “She’s been in and out of the emergency room and she couldn’t wait any longer.

“This is the result of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe – women are forced to beg for urgent healthcare in court. Kate’s case has shown the world that abortion bans are dangerous for pregnant people, and exceptions don’t work.”

Texas has one of the strictest abortion bans in the US, with procedures outlawed from the point of conception, except in rare cases where the life of the expectant mother is under threat.

Abortion rights advocates claim the exception is too vague.

Kate Cox subjected to onslaught of abuse by anti-abortion pundits

The Cox case has become the latest focal point for debate surrounding reproductive rights in the US. Right-wing, so-called pro-life pundits have demonised her pleas.

Accounts of some anti-abortion groups comparing abortion to “eugenics” were shared by watchdog group Media Matters for America in a report on the case.

Deirdre Cooper, the public policy assistant at anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life, claimed that the lower court’s ruling amounted to discrimination.

“Once given a fatal diagnosis, parents are now on a unique journey of preparing for the death of a beloved child,” Cooper told the Houston Chronicle. “Abortion robs that child the chance at life, no matter how short.”

Meanwhile, in a post on X/Twitter, Sidewalk Advocates for Life’s president and chief executive, Lauren Muzyka, said: “There’s never a reason to directly kill a baby to preserve mom’s life.”

Please login or register to comment on this story.