Legal commentators reacted with outrage after the Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocked Kate Cox from obtaining an emergency abortion. The Court’s ruling blocked a district court’s decision to allow her to abort a fetus that had a fatal trisomy-18 genetic defect, known as Edwards’ syndrome, which is almost always fatal. However, the state Supreme Court “paused” (sic) the lower court’s order after it was challenged by the Attorney General, a Republican male, who also threatened to prosecute any Texas doctor who provided her an abortion.
Kate Cox is a 31-year-old mother of two. She was 20 weeks pregnant when she filed a request for permission to have an abortion on 5 December. She had not only learned that full trisomy 18 is almost always fatal for the fetus but also that continuing the pregnancy could put her at risk for life-threatening complications. Cox wants to have a third child, but she might lose her ability to do so if forced to carry this pregnancy to term. For example, she has had two prior caesarean-sections, so continuing the pregnancy would have put her at high risk for uterine rupture and hysterectomy. She described the stresses of the controversy “overwhelming”.
As it happened, while I was copying this information from the CNN webpage news at 3pm London time on 13 December 2023, the text below came onto the screen, which said that Kate Cox had left Texas for an emergency abortion after she was refused it in Texas. The two women in the screenshot are the CNN news reporter and a doctor commenting on the fact that a legal expert does not have the medical expertise to determine whether continuing a pregnancy would create a serious risk to the life of the pregnant woman.
Kate Cox went for the best she could get. She left Texas to have a lifesaving abortion. To which we can only say amen, congratulations to everyone who helped her and to Kate herself for having the courage and the strength to pursue what should have been her unquestioned right all along, and wish her all the very best!
SOURCES: Newsweek, by Sean O’Driscoll, 9 December 2023 ; The Hill, by Nick Robertson, 9 December 2023 ; CNN, by Mary Ziegler, 9 December 2023 + PHOTO Kate Cox; CNN, by Zoe Sottile, Ashley Killough, Ed Lavandera, 12 December 2023 ; Guardian, by Ava Sasani, 8 December 2023.
US Supreme Court has announced it will hear the case for banning mifepristone
Editorial: The madness overtaking every branch of the US government moves forward apace. The US Supreme Court announced on 13 December that they will hear the totally unscientific case for banning mifepristone. If they are shortsighted and stupid enough to uphold such a ban, it would remove all power and responsibility from the US Food & Drug Administration to have the final and definitive word on the safety and efficacy of medicines in one blow. It would make every federal decision related to healthcare and access to medicines potentially a political one, and lead to years of unscientific, conflicting and contradictory local-to-state-to-national court cases — such as we have seen in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade — making them the rule instead of the exception. The word “litigious” has long been used to describe the behaviour of the US as a society, but that behaviour up to now will pale in significance compared to what will lie ahead. Clearly, the US Constitution needs to be amended to allow for placing limits on the powers of that court. Meanwhile, the rule of law in the United States is becoming as dead as dead can be with, ironically, the Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade being the deathblow. A tsunami of opinion will appear across the country in the media in the days to come, followed by years of often fruitless effort to challenge the ruling in hundreds of courts across the land. MB
SOURCE: Vox, by Ian Millhiser, 13 December 2023, and see the growing list of reports on Google.