December 12, 2023

Tammy Duckworth calls Texas GOP treatment of Kate Cox ‘horrific’

Source: The Hill


Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) called out Texas Republicans on Monday for their treatment of Kate Cox, a pregnant woman who fled the state to obtain an abortion procedure after her fetus was diagnosed with a fatal condition, referring to it as “horrific.” 

“What Texas Republicans are doing to Kate Cox is horrific,” Duckworth wrote in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “No one should be forced to leave their state just to get the healthcare they need.”

Duckworth said she would work to enshrine abortion rights into law.

“As Republicans continue their march toward a nationwide abortion ban, I’ll never stop working to enshrine the right to choose into law,” Duckworth wrote.

Duckworth’s remarks came hours after the Texas Supreme Court on Monday ruled against a lower court order that allowed Cox to obtain an abortion procedure in the state under an exception to its law. 

Cox had already left the state to obtain an abortion.

In a seven-page ruling, the Texas Supreme Court called Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble’s decision a mistake, also saying that Cox’s doctor — Damla Karsan — “asked a court to pre-authorize the abortion yet she could not, or at least did not, attest to the court that Ms. Cox’s condition poses the risks the exception requires.” 

“These laws reflect the policy choice that the Legislature has made, and the courts must respect that choice,” the court said in its ruling.

Gamble’s decision on Cox’s medical emergency was put on hold by Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who asked the state Supreme Court to intervene in the matter. The Supreme Court temporarily blocked the lower court’s ruling last week. 

Nancy Northup, the president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which has been representing Cox, confirmed to The Hill that Cox has previously left the state. Northup added that her client has been to the emergency room four times during her 20-week pregnancy. 

Cox, a mother of two children, sought an abortion after discovering her fetus was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a chromosomal anomaly that leads to miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of the infant within hours, days or weeks after birth. 

Cox’s case is the first time a pregnant woman has sought a court order to get an abortion procedure since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year. Texas and other GOP-led states have either implemented or enacted their own abortion bans and restrictions when Roe was overturned.

Democrats have seen abortion rights bolster a number of their candidates in elections across the country since the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision.

By:  Olafimihan Oshin