Updated Dec 11, 2023 - Health

Texas Supreme Court rules against woman seeking emergency abortion

Protesters march in Austin, Texas, while holding signs during an abortion-rights rally in June 2022. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

A pregnant woman who sued Texas over its abortion ban left the state to get an emergency abortion, the Center for Reproductive Rights said Monday.

Driving the news: Following "a week of legal whiplash and threats of prosecution" Kate Cox left her home state of Texas to get "the time-sensitive abortion care needed to protect her health and future fertility," per the center, which is a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Of note: Later on Monday, the Texas Supreme Court issued a decision, ruling that Cox was not permitted to get an abortion in the state.

  • "These laws reflect the policy choice that the Legislature has made, and the courts must respect that choice," the ruling states.

Catch up quick: Cox sued the state over its abortion ban last week, seeking an emergency exception for a pregnancy expected to end in miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death.

  • She was granted permission on Thursday to receive an emergency abortion despite a restrictive abortion ban that went into effect after Roe v. Wade was overturned last June.
  • But a higher court then temporarily halted the permission, leaving Cox waiting for a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court.

The big picture: The outcome of the high-profile Texas case means there will likely be continued legal ambiguity about exceptions to strict state abortion bans.

What they're saying: "This is the result of the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade: women are forced to beg for urgent healthcare in court. Kate's case has shown the world that abortion bans are dangerous for pregnant people, and exceptions don't work," Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the Texas Supreme Court ruling.

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