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First Lady Jill Biden has invited Kate Cox, a 31-year-old Dallas woman who sued to terminate her nonviable pregnancy, to attend the State of the Union address as her guest in March. The White House said the Bidens called Cox on Sunday to thank her for her courage in sharing her story.
“Her story is incredibly powerful, devastating,” said White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre in a press briefing Wednesday. “And it speaks to the moment that we are in now, when we talk about women having the right to make these deeply personal decisions about their health care that was taken away by the Supreme Court.”
Cox is the first pregnant adult to sue for the right to terminate her pregnancy since Roe v. Wade was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973. The high court overturned that ruling in June 2022, allowing Texas to ban nearly all abortions.
Cox, like dozens of other women who have come forward since the law went into effect, learned after an anatomy scan that her much-wanted pregnancy was non-viable. Her fetus would not survive after birth and, according to Cox’s lawsuit, continuing the pregnancy posed a threat to her health. Cox went to the emergency room four times in a month after receiving the lethal fetal diagnosis.
An Austin judge sided with Cox, ruling that she should be allowed to have an abortion. The Supreme Court of Texas put the ruling on hold temporarily, during which time Cox traveled out of state to terminate her pregnancy. Soon after, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled against Cox, saying she would not have qualified to have an abortion under the medical exception to the state’s abortion laws.
On Tuesday, Amanda Zurawski, the lead plaintiff on a related lawsuit in which almost two dozen women are suing the state of Texas claiming they were denied medically necessary abortions, spoke at a campaign rally for Biden.
“It is important for Americans to hear the horror stories that we’re hearing from women of their experiences across the country,” Jean-Pierre said.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.
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