COURTS & LEGAL

Texas Supreme Court pauses lower court’s order allowing pregnant woman to have an abortion

Dec 8, 2023, 9:36 PM

FILE - Abortion rights demonstrators attend a rally at the Texas state Capitol in Austin, Texas, Ma...

FILE - Abortion rights demonstrators attend a rally at the Texas state Capitol in Austin, Texas, May 14, 2022. On Monday, March 6, 2023, five women sued Texas over its abortion ban — saying they were denied abortions even when pregnancy endangered their lives — in the latest legal fight back against state restrictions after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Supreme Court on Friday night put on hold a judge’s ruling that approved an abortion for a pregnant woman whose fetus has a fatal diagnosis, throwing into limbo an unprecedented challenge to one of the most restrictive bans in the U.S.

The order by the all-Republican court came more than 30 hours after Kate Cox, a 31-year-old mother of two from the Dallas area, received a temporary restraining order from a lower court judge that prevents Texas from enforcing the state’s ban in her case.

In a one-page order, the court said it was temporarily staying Thursday’s ruling “without regard to the merits.” The case is still pending.

“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,” said Molly Duane, an attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Cox.

Cox’s attorneys have said they will not share her abortion plans, citing concerns for her safety. In a filing with the Texas Supreme Court on Friday, her attorneys indicated she was still pregnant.

Cox was 20 weeks pregnant this week when she filed what is believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that overturned Roe v. Wade. The order issued Thursday only applied to Cox and no other pregnant Texas women.

Cox learned she was pregnant for a third time in August and was told weeks later that her baby was at a high risk for a condition known as trisomy 18, which has a very high likelihood of miscarriage or stillbirth and low survival rates, according to her lawsuit.

Furthermore, doctors have told Cox that if the baby’s heartbeat were to stop, inducing labor would carry a risk of a uterine rupture because of her two prior cesareans sections, and that another C-section at full term would would endanger her ability to carry another child.

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that Cox does not meet the criteria for a medical exception to the state’s abortion ban, and he urged the state’s highest court to act swiftly.

“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,” Paxton’s office told the court.

He also warned three hospitals in Houston that they could face legal consequences if they allowed Cox’s physician to provide the abortion, despite the ruling from state District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble, who Paxton called an “activist” judge.

On Friday, a pregnant Kentucky woman also filed a lawsuit demanding the right to an abortion. The plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, is about eight weeks pregnant and she wants to have an abortion in Kentucky but cannot legally do so because of the state’s ban, the suit said.

Unlike Cox’s lawsuit, the Kentucky challenge seeks class-action status to include other Kentuckians who are or will become pregnant and want to have an abortion.

KSL 5 TV Live

Courts & Legal

Jodi Hildebrandt and Ruby Franke on an advertisement for the ConneXions program....

Shelby Lofton

Life coaching regulations under consideration following Hildebrandt case

A bill regulating life coaching programs in Utah is on hold to give the Utah Division of Professional Licensing more time to study the profession.

4 hours ago

CORRECTS SENTENCE TO UP TO 30 YEARS, NOT 60 YEARS - Defendant Ruby Franke looks on during court Tue...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Ruby Franke’s parents, brother say Franke was brainwashed

Ruby Franke's parents asked a judge to show "as much mercy" as possible ahead of her sentencing this week for child abuse, saying their daughter had been brainwashed.

5 hours ago

The mug shots of Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt obtained by KSL on Feb. 21 2024. It's expected th...

Shelby Lofton

Long-term therapy expected for Ruby Franke, Jodi Hildebrandt’s young victims

After their mother, Ruby Franke, and previous counselor Jodi Hildebrandt were sentenced for aggravated child abuse, it's expected the Franke children will need long-term therapy to heal from the trauma they've endured.

1 day ago

metal container with slides frozen in the bottom...

Laura Ungar, Science Writer

How Alabama court ruling that frozen embryos are children could affect IVF

The Alabama Supreme Court recently ruled that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law. This is raising concerns about how the decision could affect in vitro fertilization, commonly known as IVF.

1 day ago

FILE...

Gene Johnson, Associated Press

Seattle officer who struck and killed graduate student from India won’t face felony charges

Prosecutors in Washington state said Wednesday they will not file felony charges against a Seattle police officer who struck and killed a graduate student from India while responding to an overdose call.

1 day ago

In this screen grab from lapel camera video provided by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, movie...

Associated Press

Jury selection begins for trial of ‘Rust’ armorer in fatal 2021 shooting by Alec Baldwin

Prosecutors are pursuing accountability in the 2021 death of a cinematographer who was shot by actor Alec Baldwin during a rehearsal for the Western movie “Rust."

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Texas Supreme Court pauses lower court’s order allowing pregnant woman to have an abortion