Texas Supreme Court rejects challenge to state’s abortion law over medical exceptions

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The Texas Supreme Court in Austin, Texas, has dismissed a significant challenge to the state’s strict abortion law. The ruling went against a group of women who faced serious pregnancy complications and were the first in the U.S. to testify in court about being denied abortions post the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

In a unanimous decision, the all-Republican court upheld the Texas law, which critics argue lacks clarity regarding medically necessary exceptions. This issue was also central to a previous lawsuit filed by Kate Cox, a mother from Dallas, who sought court approval for an abortion due to a fatal condition in her fetus during a complicated pregnancy.

Abortion rights activists have been grappling with increasing restrictions in many Republican-led states following the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, a ruling that had affirmed the right to abortion for almost five decades. The Texas Supreme Court stated that the law’s exceptions are sufficiently broad, emphasizing that doctors would be misinterpreting the law if they refused to perform an abortion in life-threatening situations.

The ruling seems to have closed off another avenue for opponents seeking more clarity on when exceptions are permissible. Last year, plaintiffs in the case emotionally shared their experiences in an Austin courtroom, highlighting the challenges they faced carrying nonviable pregnancies and enduring health risks by continuing pregnancies.

Molly Duane, a staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights representing the Texas women, expressed that it appears the legal options are limited, indicating that Texans may need to turn to the voting booth for future decisions.

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