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Texas Supreme Court rules against woman who sought abortion hours after she says she’ll travel out of state

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A Texas woman whose fetus has a fatal diagnosis and who was awaiting a decision from the Texas Supreme Court about whether she would be allowed to get an abortion said Monday that she has decided to leave Texas to get the procedure.


Kate Cox, a mother of two who is around 20 weeks pregnant, found out just after Thanksgiving that her developing fetus has trisomy 18, a fatal diagnosis. Seeking to terminate the pregnancy to protect her health and future fertility, she and her husband sought a court order to block Texas’ abortion bans from applying in her case.


A state district judge granted the request Thursday, but then the state Supreme Court temporarily paused the lower court’s order Friday. On Monday evening, the Texas Supreme Court directed the lower court to vacate its order.


“A woman who meets the medical-necessity exception need not seek a court order to obtain an abortion,” the court wrote in its decision, adding: “The law leaves to physicians — not judges — both the discretion and the responsibility to exercise their reasonable medical judgment, given the unique facts and circumstances of each patient.”