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Texas judge grants woman’s abortion request despite state protections

Pro-abortion demonstrators rally at the Texas state Capitol in Austin, Texas. Associated Press/Photo by Eric Gay

Texas judge grants woman’s abortion request despite state protections

The district judge in Austin on Thursday issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the state from enforcing its pro-life laws. Lawyers from The Center for Reproductive Rights sued the state in November on behalf of Kate Cox. The 31-year-old mother of two sought permission for an abortion after she said doctors diagnosed her unborn baby with trisomy 18. The chromosomal disorder causes growth delays during pregnancy and many babies who have the condition die before or within a month after birth, according to the National Library of Medicine. A few live longer—an Oklahoma woman with the condition celebrated her 40th birthday in 2020. A lawyer for Cox said she is at high risk for pregnancy complications and that the pregnancy is endangering her ability to carry children in the future.

What will happen next? The state is likely to appeal the court order after arguing that Cox does not meet the state law’s criteria for a medical exception. Texas protects unborn babies at all stages of pregnancy except in some rare situations. 

Dig deeper: Read Leah Savas’ report in Vitals about a case against state abortion law being considered by Texas Supreme Court justices.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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