Texas judge grants pregnant 31-year-old woman permission to get an abortion despite state's ban

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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Texas judge grants pregnant woman permission to get abortion
Texas Judge Maya Guerra Gamble granted Kate Cox permission to get an abortion even though Roe v. Wade was overturned last year.

AUSTIN, Texas -- A Texas judge on Thursday granted a pregnant woman permission to get an abortion in an unprecedented challenge to the state's ban that took effect after Roe v. Wade was overturned last year.

This is the first time since before Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, that an adult woman has asked a court to intervene to allow her to terminate a pregnancy, and the first lawsuit of its kind since Texas banned almost all abortions in 2022.

Judge Maya Guerra Gamble is behind the decision brought to the state by 31-year-old Kate Cox, a mother of two from the Dallas area.

"The idea that Ms. Cox wants desperately to be a parent, and this law might actually cause her to lose that ability is shocking, and would be a genuine miscarriage of justice. So I will be signing the order that will be processed and sent out today," Gamble said.

SEE RELATED STORY: Texas women who could not get abortions despite health risks take challenge to state's Supreme Court

The hearing lasted about a half an hour.

Cox learned last week that her fetus was diagnosed with full trisomy 18, a chromosomal anomaly that is almost always fatal before or soon after birth. The fetus is developing with an umbilical hernia, a twisted spine, a club foot, and an irregular skull and heart, according to the lawsuit.

Cox, who delivered her other two children by Cesarean section, also has elevated glucose and underlying health conditions. The lawsuit alleges she is at increased risk of gestational hypertension and diabetes and complications from anesthesia and Cesarean section if she were to carry the pregnancy to term.

"I'm trying to do what is best for my baby and myself, but the state of Texas is making us both suffer," Cox said in a press release. "I need to end my pregnancy now so that I have the best chance for my health and a future pregnancy."

SEE RELATED STORY: Texas woman asks judge to let her terminate pregnancy after lethal fetal diagnosis

The Texas Tribune contributed to this story.