Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Texas woman who sought court permission for abortion leaves state for procedure

A pregnant Texas woman whose foetus has a fatal diagnosis asked a court to let her terminate the pregnancy, bringing what her attorneys say is the first lawsuit of its kind in the US since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
A pregnant Texas woman whose foetus has a fatal diagnosis asked a court to let her terminate the pregnancy, bringing what her attorneys say is the first lawsuit of its kind in the US since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

A pregnant Texas woman who was seeking court permission for an abortion in an unprecedented challenge to one of the most restrictive bans in the US could not wait any longer and went to another state, her lawyers said on Monday.

The announcement came as Kate Cox, 31, whose foetus has a fatal condition, was awaiting a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court over whether she could legally obtain an abortion.

Her baby’s diagnosis has low survival rates and her attorneys said continuing the pregnancy jeopardized both her health and ability to have more children.

Abortion Texas Lawsuit
A judge gave Cox, a mother of two from the Dallas area, permission last week but that decision was put on hold by the state’s all-Republican high court (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the Centre for Reproductive Rights, which was representing Ms Cox said: “Her health is on the line. She’s been in and out of the emergency room and she couldn’t wait any longer.”

The organisation did not disclose where Ms Cox went.

On Monday, she was 20 weeks and six days pregnant.

The court, which is made up of nine Republican justices, had given no timetable for a ruling.

On Friday night, the court had paused a lower a judge’s order that gave Cox permission for an abortion.

Ms Cox, a 31-year-old mother of two from Dallas, had been to the emergency room at least four times since becoming pregnant in August, according to her attorneys.

Ms Cox was believed to be the first woman in the US to ask a court for permission for an abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year.

Her lawsuit quickly became a high-profile test of bans in Texas and a dozen other GOP-controlled states, where abortion is prohibited at nearly all stages of pregnancy.

Days after Ms Cox filed her lawsuit, a pregnant woman in Kentucky also asked a court to allow an abortion.

There has been no ruling yet in that case.

Earlier on Monday, two medical groups in the US urged the Texas Supreme Court to grant a final ruling in favour of Ms Cox.

Her lawyers said that she had been to the emergency at least four times since becoming pregnant again in August.

Abortion-Texas
Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that Cox did not demonstrate that the pregnancy had put her life in danger (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Texas’ abortion ban makes narrow exceptions when the life of the mother is in danger but not for foetal anomalies.

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has defended the state’s strict anti-abortion laws for nearly a decade, argued that Ms Cox did not demonstrate that the pregnancy had put her life in danger.

“The Texas Legislature did not intend for courts to become revolving doors of permission slips to obtain abortions,” Mr Paxton’s office wrote in a filing to the state Supreme Court last week.

Dr Leilah Zahedi-Spung, a maternal fetal medicine specialist in Colorado and a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, said when lethal fetal anomalies are diagnosed “there’s only risk to that pregnant person and no benefit unfortunately for that innocent child”.

“You are putting your body through risks without any benefit because prolonging the pregnancy doesn’t change the survival rate,” Dr Zahedi-Spung said.

Doctors told Ms Cox that her foetus has a condition known as trisomy 18, which has a very high likelihood of miscarriage or stillbirth and low survival rates, according to her lawsuit filed last week in Austin.

They also told Ms Cox that inducing labour or carrying the baby to term could jeopardise her ability to have another child.

Trisomy 18 occurs in approximately one in 2,500 diagnosed pregnancies, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Society for Maternal-Foetal Medicine.

There is no live birth in about 70% of pregnancies involving the diagnosis that proceed past 12 weeks gestational age, according to a legal filing that the two groups submitted to the court.

The termination of pregnancies because of foetal anomalies or other often-fatal medical problems is seldom discussed in national debates over abortion.

There are no recent statistics on the frequency of terminations for foetal anomalies in the US but experts say it is a small percentage of total procedures.