Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the state Supreme Court to halt a Dallas woman’s abortion less than one day after a lower court said she could terminate her pregnancy at 20 weeks due to complications.
The woman, 31-year-old Kate Cox, was granted an unprecedented temporary restraining order by District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble on Thursday to allow her physician to complete the procedure, after Cox began experiencing pain and learned that her fetus was extremely unlikely to survive outside the womb more than a short time.
Texas prohibits all abortions except for a very small number, in cases where the pregnant patient could imminently die. Paxton had argued that Cox’s life was not yet sufficiently endangered.
Cox already has two children and wished to preserve her fertility, and her life, so that she might have more.
Paxton petitioned the Texas Supreme Court late Thursday night, The Texas Tribune was first to report on Friday. Earlier, he threatened medical facilities affiliated with Cox’s doctor.
The attorney general’s office reportedly argued in its filing that “each hour [the temporary restraining order] remains in place is an hour that Plaintiffs believe themselves free to perform and procure an elective abortion.”
“Nothing can restore the unborn child’s life that will be lost as a result,” the filing said, according to the Tribune.
Lawyers for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which helped file Cox’s case, told reporters on Thursday that Gamble’s order cleared the way for Cox to have an abortion as soon as she was able. The lawyers declined to give any further details about Cox’s plans, citing safety concerns.