The nightmare for Kate Cox continues

The Texas supreme court has put on hold the restraining order that a lower court judge had imposed that would have allowed Kate Cox to get an abortion, stating that her condition met the requirements for an exception to the state’s almost total ban on the procedure. The Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, a Republican anti-abortion zealot, had appealed to the supreme court for such a move. Even before the supreme. court stepped in, Paxton went even further and said that he would prosecute any doctor and hospital that allowed the procedure even if the courts rule it to be permissible. So much for the party that says that it is the upholder of law and order.

Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas, argued that Cox did not meet the criteria for a medical exception to the state’s abortion ban. “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,” his office told the court.

Doctors have advised Cox the pregnancy is non-viable, and proceeding with it carried significant risks to her own future health.

On Friday, Paxton 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, whom Paxton called an “activist”.

Her order, he wrote in a letter, “will not insulate hospitals, doctors or anyone else from civil and criminal liability”.

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.

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

The. state supreme court has not said when it will issue a ruling on the merits of Cox’s case. This is Texas so one can be pretty sure that the supreme court is solidly Republican and thus likely to seek ways to prevent Cox from getting an abortion, however flimsy the reasoning. The easiest way might be to just run out the clock. Abortion is extremely time-sensitive. Cox is already in the 20th week of her pregnancy and it will get more difficult with each passing day. A normal pregnancy is about 40 weeks.

Apart from all the legal issues, one cannot imagine the trauma that Cox and also her husband must be going through. Normal pregnancies carry with them some stress because of the ever-present possibility of a miscarriage or something else going awry. Having a fetus that has severe problems and has almost no chance of survival makes the stress much, much worse. The prospect that if the pregnancy is carried to term she might never be able to have another child makes it even worse. Add to that the fact that she might even die as a result, and you have the recipe for the emotional hell that she must be now experiencing.

But that is today’s GOP. It simply does not care for the rights of women or doctors or even the law if any of them contradicts their ideological and religious commitment to prevent any and all abortions. The only thing that will stop them is repeated repudiation at the polls so that all politicians and judges who are anti-abortion zealots are kicked out.


  1. Matt G says

    If this doesn’t get young people to the polls, I don’t know what will. This affects them directly. Of course so do issues including religion, LGBTQ+, etc.

  2. Katydid says

    The misogyny is baked right in! Can you imagine a man with (say) a heart issue that might kill him--and at the very least--leave him permanently disabled for as long as he lives, having to beg to be allowed treatment, only to have the AG threaten the lives of the doctors who might help him survive? And then pressure the state’s Supreme Court to halt his medical treatment? Or for that matter a man being denied medical treatment for anything?

    This just shows the lie behind the anti-choice (falsely called “pro-life”) movement.

  3. Ridana says

    Impartial TX Supreme Court Justice and law-abiding Court officer John Devine has bragged about being arrested 37 times at anti-abortion actions, while equally impartial Justice Jimmy Blacklock appeared with Paxton at an anti-abortion rally. Said impartial Attorney General Paxton, “I don’t have to guess or wonder how Justice Blacklock is going to decide cases because of his proven record of fighting for pro-life causes.”
    No reason to recuse on these cases, as justices are blind.

  4. raven says

    I’m not seeing why she doesn’t just go out of state and get an abortion.

    Like tens of thousands of Texas women are forced to do since Roe versus Wade was overturned.

    I tried to find out what her job was but didn’t find anything on Google except that she works and already has two children.
    I would guess she can afford it if she has two children and was planning on a third.

    I also guessing that she is testing the Texas law to see what will happen.
    And finding out that the evil slime molds that actually run Texas are…evil slime molds that actually run Texas.

  5. moarscienceplz says

    @#4 raven
    It appears to me that she realized that her situation, horrible as it is to her personally, would be just about the perfect test case from a legal standpoint to try to put some cracks in that shitty law. So, much like Rosa Parks and Homer Plessy she was willing to take on some extra hardship that she didn’t have to in order to try to make things easier for others in the future.
    I think she is a hero.

  6. says

    I was thinking about this this morning, and it occurred to me that Ken Paxton may not give a damn about abortion, personally. But he knows that the “RTL” crowd is extraordinarily zealous, and they WILL vote. Given all of the other hot water he’s gotten himself into, I think it is safe to say the ol’ Ken is not a man of great ethics. Consequently, his completely dickish intransigence on this issue may be entirely cynical. It’s just a way of ensuring votes and appeasing supporters to keep himself in office. And that would make his stance even worse as he’d be actively inflicting pain on someone else in order to further himself. He might be repeating to himself the old saying:

    The common man thinks that god is real.
    The philosopher says that god doesn’t exist.
    The magistrate knows that god is useful.

  7. John Morales says

    I note the law applies only to people who get pregnant, even though it’s supposedly universally applicable.

    Rather interesting, this passing of law that only apply to a subset of the population by virtue of their physiology. Quite an exception to the rule of everyone being subject to the law.

    (Anatole France — ‘The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.’)

  8. raven says

    Jesus Christ, is there no end to the cruelty?

    In Texas? No.

    The whole point of Paxton and the Texas GOP are the cruelty and misogyny.
    They aren’t pro life.

    It’s all about showing that they have the power to discriminate against pregnant women and make them suffer.

    The majority of voters in Texas agree since they elected these evil men.

  9. lanir says

    @Raven #4:

    Texas has that law allowing anyone to sue in a civil suit. It lets them sue anyone who aided a resident of Texas in getting an abortion, including in other states. The plaintiff in the case gets tens of thousands of dollars as a reward if successful and is shielded from legal costs as the law automatically requires the defendant to pay all legal costs.

    As applied to this case, what would probably happen is they’d sue Kate for getting the abortion. Then they’d sue her husband because even if he had no knowledge of it, they’d probably argue he was materially supporting it as long as Kate paid anything to get it done (they probably have shared finances like most married couples). Then they’d sue the doctor as well as anyone who helped her travel to or stay in another state while the procedure was done. Due to the publicity it’s very likely lawsuits would be brought against everyone and the zealots would find even people who had no idea what was going on liable just to terrorize anyone who might consider helping in the future. Or any couple who might dare to put their health above the sick fantasies of zealots. Maybe they’ll even dream up a way to sue their two kids just to add extra financial devastation.

    I believe the law also forbids making the plaintiff pay legal fees for the defendant so there’s nothing really stopping completely frivolous lawsuits either. If I’m remembering right I think I could even sue Ken Paxton and accuse him of having an abortion as long as I was willing to pay my own legal fees to do so.

    Oh and this law is viewed as a win-win for Texas Republicans. The way these sorts of civil suits are usually used is to sue polluters and similar badly behaved companies who make a mess in other states. So even if it’s struck down it’ll give Texas polluters ammo to fight these sorts of civil suits.

  10. raven says

    The forced birthers and female slavers in Texas and elsewhere are just getting warmed up.
    If, as they claim, a zygote is a person, then an abortion is murder of that person.

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some Missouri lawmakers are renewing a call for the state to take an anti-abortion step that goes further than prominent anti-abortion groups want to go and that has not gained much traction in any state so far: a law that would allow homicide charges against women who obtain abortions.2 days ago

    Missouri lawmakers propose allowing homicide charges for …
    PBS › newshour › politics › missouri-law.

    In a lot of states, the so called fundie xians have proposed to make abortions capital crimes, homicide.

    This article is incorrect. Abortion is already a crime in Georgia, first degree murder.

    Texans who get abortions could face death penalty if …

    The Texas Tribune › 2021/03/09 › texas-leg…
    Mar 9, 2021 — Under the bill filed Tuesday, women who receive an abortion and physicians who perform the procedure could be charged with assault or homicide, …

    Texas is another state where they have already had bills filed to make abortion a death penalty offense.

    If you elect fascist extremists to public office, what do you expect to happen?

  11. brightmoon says

    I’m glad I live in NY . SMDH. I’m horrified that all the rights women have fought for over the last 60 years are being eroded. I’ve got a great granddaughter that very very I’m worried about . So far she’s just a tot but I’m worried about when she’s a teenager; is this going to get worse ☹️

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