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Texas Supreme Court Rules Against Women Who Claimed State Abortion Ban Endangered Their Health

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that a medical exemption in Texas's abortion ban applies only when a person is at risk of death or serious physical impairment. This decision followed a lawsuit by several women claiming the ban endangered their health. The court reversed a lower court's broader interpretation, which had included circumstances where pregnancy is "unsafe" or the fetus unlikely to survive. The court stated that this broader interpretation was not faithful to the law.

"Unfortunately, the Texas Supreme Court has showed us today that they don't wish to help pregnant Texans access health care and they don't want to help doctors practice medicine in the state of Texas," Amanda Zurawski, a plaintiff in the case who nearly died after being denied an abortion said. "The Supreme Court had the opportunity to provide clarity, but they didn't – and we are right back where we started."

Women who faced serious health complications during pregnancy argued that Texas's strict abortion laws forced them to wait until their health seriously deteriorated or travel out of state for the procedure. The court concluded that plaintiffs did not prove the ban, with its narrow medical emergency exemption, violated the state constitution.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the ruling, while the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the case, criticized it for not providing clear guidance for doctors. The court emphasized that abortions could only be performed if a doctor identified a life-threatening condition to the mother and a non-viable fetal condition alone was insufficient. This decision has intensified the debate over how state abortion bans apply in medical emergencies, especially following the 2022 Supreme Court decision that ended federal abortion rights.

The Texas Supreme Court's decision to narrowly interpret the medical exemption in the state's abortion ban is a harsh reminder of the dangerous consequences of restrictive abortion laws.

We need to advocate for laws that prioritize the health and well-being of individuals, ensuring access to safe and legal abortion services. The fight for reproductive rights is far from over, and it's crucial that we continue to push back against these oppressive measures, demanding justice and comprehensive healthcare for all.

Link: CNN


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