December 13, 2023 (SAINT PAUL) — Attorney General Keith Ellison and a coalition of 11 attorneys general released the following statement after the Texas Supreme Court denied abortion access to Kate Cox, a pregnant woman whose health and life were at risk as a result of a lethal fetal diagnosis. Ms. Cox was forced to travel out of state to receive abortion care.
“No one should be forced to fight in court and leave their home state just to receive the health care they need. As this case shows, abortion bans pose dangerous health and safety threats wherever they are enacted. Decisions about abortion care should be made between patients and their doctors, not politicians. We will continue to fight to ensure everyone has the freedom to make their own reproductive health care decisions.”
On December 8, the Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocked a lower court’s ruling that would have allowed Ms. Cox to obtain an abortion under the exception to the state’s abortion bans permitting abortions in cases of risks to the pregnant person’s life. On December 11, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision, preventing Ms. Cox from seeking an abortion, even though she had learned that her fetus had a fatal genetic condition and her doctor had testified that continuing to carry the pregnancy would jeopardize her life, her health, and her future fertility. The court found the legislative exception to Texas’s abortion bans did not encompass Ms. Cox’s condition because she had not shown it was sufficiently “life threatening.”
Joining Attorney General Ellison in condemning the Texas Supreme Court’s decision are the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.