An American woman, whose pregnancy is very high risk, sues Texas to obtain the right to abortion

A 31-year-old American woman whose life and fertility are threatened by her pregnancy, according to her doctors, launched legal action on Tuesday, December 5, against the state of Texas, which prohibits all but rare voluntary terminations of pregnancy (abortions)

An American woman, whose pregnancy is very high risk, sues Texas to obtain the right to abortion

A 31-year-old American woman whose life and fertility are threatened by her pregnancy, according to her doctors, launched legal action on Tuesday, December 5, against the state of Texas, which prohibits all but rare voluntary terminations of pregnancy (abortions). exceptions, to be able to abort.

According to the complaint, Kate Cox learned last week that her fetus has Down syndrome, meaning it is at risk of dying in utero. Even if the pregnancy goes to term, there is a high chance that the baby will be stillborn or die a few days later. Ultrasound scans revealed that the fetus had abnormalities in its spine and abdomen and that the development of its skull and heart was abnormal.

But because of Texas law, Ms. Cox can't have an abortion, with her doctors telling her her "hands are tied" and that she must wait for the baby to die in her womb, according to the lawsuit filed on her behalf by the specialized association Center for Reproductive Rights.

Due to previous C-sections, inducing labor after the death of the fetus carries a high risk of rupture of the uterus, which could kill Ms. Cox or prevent her from becoming pregnant in the future if a hysterectomy is necessary.

Exceptions considered too vague

“I'm trying to choose the best option for my baby and myself, but the state of Texas is hurting both of us,” Cox said. “I don’t want the pain and suffering of this pregnancy to continue. » Obstetrician-gynecologist Damla Karsan is a co-plaintiff and says she is ready to terminate the pregnancy if justice allows it.

In the summer of 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned its Roe vs. Wade ruling, which had guaranteed for half a century the federal right of American women to terminate their pregnancies.

Texas has banned all abortions, including in cases of incest or rape. The only exception: in the event of danger of death or risk of serious disability for the mother. But abortion rights advocates say the exceptions are too vague.

The Texas Supreme Court heard similar arguments last week in a case brought by two doctors and about 20 women who were denied abortions despite serious, sometimes life-threatening, complications.