Jan 24, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Jill Biden invites Texas mother who sought emergency abortion to State of the Union

Jill Biden speaks at a ”Reproductive Freedom Campaign Rally" at George Mason University on January 23, 2024 in Manassas, Virginia

Jill Biden speaks at a "Reproductive Freedom Campaign Rally" at George Mason University on Jan. 23. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

First lady Jill Biden has invited Kate Cox, a Texas mother forced to seek an emergency abortion outside of the state, to join her as a guest at the State of the Union in March, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.

Why it matters: The invitation presents one of the ways that President Biden is seeking to "lift up" personal stories related to reproductive rights as the 2024 presidential campaign grinds on, Jean-Pierre said.

Catch up quick: Kate Cox sued the state last month over its abortion ban. She sought an emergency exception for a pregnancy destined to end in miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death.

  • Cox was granted permission to receive an emergency abortion but a higher court temporarily halted the permission, leaving her waiting for a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court.
  • Cox left the state to obtain the emergency abortion, while the Texas Supreme Court ultimately ruled against her right to get an abortion in the state.

State of play: President Biden and Jill Biden spoke with Cox on Sunday, Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing.

  • "They thanked her for her courage in sharing her story and speaking out about the impact of the extreme abortion ban in Texas," Jean-Pierre said.
  • Jill Biden invited Cox to be one of the first lady's guests at the State of the Union, which Cox accepted, the press secretary added.

The big picture: Democrats and the White House are emphasizing reproductive rights as a key issue going into the 2024 election.

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