Stop Forcing Women to Risk Their Lives Birthing Terminally Ill Babies

Target: Dan Patrick, President of the Texas State Senate

Goal: Clarify language and ease restrictions in vague and harsh abortion law that endangers pregnant women.

A mother from Texas grabbed headlines when she sought one of the most compelling challenges yet to her state’s near-total abortion ban. Kate Cox was looking forward to welcoming her third child when she received the devastating news that the fetus had developed a rare disorder—Trisomy 18—with a 95 percent mortality rate. If the child were to be born alive, it would almost certainly suffer an agonizing few hours of life marked by respiratory distress and cardiac failure before ultimately succumbing. Moreover, the mother’s life would be at great risk as well. Ms. Cox had already endured multiple emergency trips to the hospital.

Making this harrowing time even worse is Texas’ newly enacted law, which states abortions are prohibited “at all stages of pregnancy without exceptions for rape or incest, and with narrow exemptions for pregnant people at risk of death.” Cox and her husband sought the exemption upon medical advice but were apparently met with threats of legal retribution from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. A higher court recently denied the family’s request for an exemption, forcing the woman to seek this medically necessary procedure in another state. For too many women without financial means, however, options are far more limited: continue the pregnancy (risking sickness and death) or seek an archaic form of abortion outside the safety of medical care centers, which carries its own serious risks.

Women should not be placed in these dangerous circumstances because of unclear and overly harsh laws. Sign the petition below to demand Texas revisit and reform these life-threatening dictates.


Dear Lieutenant Governor Patrick,

“If she doesn’t qualify, then who does?” A reproductive professional asked this very important question in the case of Kate Cox, who was denied a medical exemption for an abortion even though her pregnancy (and giving birth) carries tremendous risk of harm for both her unborn child and herself. What exactly is pro-life about endangering this woman’s life, putting her family through the most unbearable pain, and subjecting a newborn who will almost surely die shortly after birth to unimaginable agony?

The three different laws relating to abortion in Texas invite confusion, heartache, and medical decisions made not in the best interest of the patient but in fear. Even the state Supreme Court has called for clarity. But this clarity needs to be joined with compassion, empathy, and a respect for the deeply personal decisions families and their healthcare providers across the state and across the nation make every day.

Please pursue a more thoughtfully crafted, clear, and life-saving law regarding reproductive rights the highest priority before more lives are needlessly destroyed.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bob J. Galindo

One Comment

  1. Jennifer Lockett says:

    It’s galling women who have terminal fetuses in their wombs have to basically have their insides rot before they receive medical attention. Fuck you. I hope Texas ends up with a small percentage of women left in the state. I’ve stopped having sex with men. You all want to prosecute people who are pregnant? You want to stop women from accessing birth control? Fine. We will stop having sex with you. No more unwanted pregnancy. No man, no sperm, no babies.

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