The #Texas Supreme Court issued a significant decision on Monday, ruling that Kate Cox, a Dallas-area mother with a fetus diagnosed with a fatal condition, does not qualify for an #abortion under the state's near-total ban. The decision, following a six-day legal saga, hinged on the requirement in House Bill 1280 that doctors exercise "reasonable medical judgment" to determine if a woman qualifies for a legal exception to the abortion ban.
Cox's doctors had advised that her fetus had a trisomy 18 diagnosis, with virtually no chance of survival, and continuing the pregnancy posed serious risks to her health and fertility. Despite a lower court's temporary restraining order, the Texas Supreme Court overturned it, stating that Cox's doctor had not met the standard of "reasonable medical judgment."
This decision, the first of its kind since Roe v. Wade in 1973, has broad implications for the interpretation of abortion laws in the state. The court's opinion reflects a reluctance to broaden the exception, emphasizing the Legislature's policy choice.
Cox, 20 weeks and six days pregnant, left the state to obtain the abortion, and her case raises concerns about the accessibility of such procedures for others facing similar situations. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine filed an emergency brief, arguing that Cox faced an emergent threat to her life, health, and future fertility, highlighting the impact of Texas' abortion laws on essential medical care.
According to the American Psychological Association, there are far-reaching consequences of recent restrictive abortion laws, particularly impacting people of color. Over 60% seeking abortions are people of color, with half living below the poverty line. The June 2022 Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade, jeopardizing reproductive rights.
Psychologists are concerned about the mental health impact, emphasizing the need for support services, equitable legislation, and empowering women of color.
Give us your thoughts in the comments.