Texas Supreme Court overturns abortion related order; lady seeking abortions flees state

A court ruling that would have let a Dallas woman to undergo an abortion has been overruled by the Texas Supreme Court. Hours after Kate Cox’s solicitors declared she was leaving the state to end her non-viable pregnancy, the decision was made.

On Tuesday of last week, Cox, 31, filed a landmark action, requesting permission from the courts to end her pregnancy after discovering her unborn child had full trisomy 18, a fatal foetal defect. The Centre for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit claiming that Cox’s health and future fertility were at risk from the pregnancy, but her doctors declined to perform an abortion because the state virtually outlaws the operation.

According to a ruling on Thursday by Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble, Cox, her husband, or OB/GYN should not face criminal or civil penalties for ending the pregnancy. In an emergency petition, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requested that the state Supreme Court reverse that decision. The Guerra Gamble order was placed on hold by the supreme court on Friday night as they examined the case’s merits.

But in the interim, Cox’s health was failing, and her attorneys said that she was frequently visiting the emergency department.
The Centre for Reproductive Rights’ president and CEO, Nancy Northup, stated, “Kate’s last week of legal limbo has been hellish.” “Her well-being is at risk… Because they are not medical professionals, judges and legislators shouldn’t be deciding on a pregnant person’s medical treatment.

Texas Supreme Court overturns abortion related order; lady seeking abortions flees state

Cox fled the state to have an abortion, according to her attorneys on Monday afternoon, but they did not say where or when the procedure was taking place. Cox no longer sought an abortion in Texas, but the Centre for Reproductive Rights informed the Texas Supreme Court that it planned to pursue the matter. The court’s decision to reverse the temporary restraining order was made a few hours later.

There’s no denying that Ms. Cox’s pregnancy has been incredibly difficult. The judges noted, “Any parent would be devastated to learn of their unborn child’s trisomy 18 diagnosis.” “But even severe pregnancy problems don’t carry the increased risks to the mother that the exception covers.”

In a related case, Zurawski v. Texas, twenty women argue that the state’s new regulations prevented them from getting the medically necessary abortions for their complex pregnancies. The case is presently before the Texas Supreme Court. Because those women are not now seeking abortions, unlike Cox, the state claims they lack standing to suit.

Rights has maintained that when medical professionals use their professional judgement and determine that an abortion is required, they should be free to carry out the procedure. The Center’s attorneys have contended that the law’s need for physicians to use “reasonable medical judgement” is ambiguous and encourages them to wait until a patient is on the verge of death before taking action.

The court ruled on Monday, stating that the doctor is not required by law to wait until the mother is in danger of dying or until her physical handicap is completely apparent or virtually irreparable. The exception does not require a doctor to wait for other doctors to become available before consulting in a true emergency. Instead, the exemption is based on a physician acting in the realm of reasonable medical judgement, which is what physicians do on a daily basis.

The Texas Medical Board was reminded in the verdict that it can “assess various hypothetical circumstances, provide best practices, identify red lines, and the like”—something it has already done for COVID-19 guidelines and other comparable situations. The ruling also called on the board to provide greater guidance to practitioners.

Many Texas women lack the resources to swiftly leave the state, according to a statement released by Cox’s attorneys. Patients are flocking clinics in New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas because all but one of Texas’ neighbouring states have outlawed the operation, which is causing delays in medical care. The case of a lady who bore a non-viable pregnancy to term because she could not afford to leave the state for an abortion was covered by the Texas Tribune in October.

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