The Texan Court-Ordered Abortion Saga is Finished with the Lone Star State Setting Pro-Life Precedent 

Caroline Wharton - 13 Dec 2023
Guest post by SFLA Lead Operations Supervisor & Medical/Law Coordinator Gavin Oxley

GUEST POST: About a year and a half after Roe and Casey were reversed, fourteen states have now enshrined protections for preborn life in law, thanks to their pro-life legislatures. In the state of Texas, however, we have just seen the first (likely of many) legal challenges to these life-affirming state measures. Here’s what you need to know:  

Plaintiff Kate Cox sued the state of Texas via the Center for Reproductive Rights for relief in the form of a court-ordered abortion since her preborn child was diagnosed with Trisomy-18, a genetic condition resulting in life-limiting developmental delays due to the presence of an extra eighteenth chromosome. Judge Maya Guerra Gamble (an abortion supporter dressed in judges’ robes) of the District Court of Travis County had ruled in favor of Cox and her OB-GYN before Texan Attorney General Ken Paxton raised the alarm on the faulty ruling. The Supreme Court of Texas subsequently corrected the record, noting the plaintiff did not have the right to evade state pro-life laws and have an abortion committed. It has since been reported Cox has left Texas to procure her abortion elsewhere. 

Though we applaud the Texas judiciary for defending life and law, medical misinformation needs to be addressed to avoid activist cases impacting the cultural narrative on abortion. 

The Trisomy 18 Foundation notes that for some women “[abortion] is medically necessary to preserve their ability to have more children in the future,” and that it is “very rare” for the condition to cause harm to the mother’s health. 

Note the use of the word “health” there. No pro-life legislation in our entire country (which includes Texas) prohibits any procedure necessary to save the life of the mother. Since Doe v. Bolton established an overly loose federal definition for “health,” pro-life legislators and lobbyists have had to exclusively use the phrase “life of the mother” in order to institute actual protections for the preborn.  

With that in mind, there are two things to make clear about situations such as these.  

First, ending the life of a current child in hopes of making another one in the future is wrong.  

While the pro-life movement values and aims to protect women’s fertility, we also need to understand compassionate care for the present life in the mother’s womb (regardless of disability) must come before the potential to create new lives. If a pregnancy does not cause any life-threatening complications for the mother – as we saw in this Texan case — it’s not morally ethical to commit a procedure which purposefully results in the death of her preborn child.  

Second, the pro-life movement empathizes with the very real complications which can result from Cesarean-section delivery — but abortion is equally, if not more, dangerous than delivery via C-section.  

Literature shows C-section delivery to result in more maternal deaths and complications than natural birth/vaginal delivery. However, later-term surgical abortion — which Cox will endure if she chooses the path of abortion due to being past 20 weeks of pregnancy — risks extreme conditions such as hemorrhage, infection/sepsis, incomplete abortion, retained pregnancy tissue, reduced fertility/infertility, and mental health complications. Clearly, abortion isn’t a better choice for her health.  

And when considering these specific circumstances, it gets sadder. By the time the case was decided, Cox’s baby likely would have approached viability where an early delivery could have been possible followed by compassionate implementation of perinatal hospice. This would have been a far better choice for both mother and baby.  

In her faulty ruling, Judge Guerra Gamble characterized Cox’s lack of access to abortion as a “genuine miscarriage of justice.” What would have truly been a miscarriage of justice, however, would be the Lone Star State’s complicit involvement in the harm of women and children, setting a dangerous precedent for the same to be done across the nation.  

The Pro-Life Generation thanks Texas for standing strong for life and being a good example for other states — and yet we know the fight is far from over. We must be continually prepared to defend the vulnerable across the nation from pro-abortion activists in the judiciary and legislative houses.  

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