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Texas judge grants woman’s request to dismember her preborn baby

by | Dec 8, 2023

By Isabella Childs and Nancy Flanders 

A Texas judge on Thursday gave approval for a pregnant woman to undergo a dismemberment abortion that is not legally allowable under Texas law.

According to ABC 7, Judge Maya Guerra Gamble ruled that Texas resident Kate Cox could undergo a eugenic abortion on her preborn child following that child’s diagnosis of Trisomy 18. Cox, who has two born children delivered by C-section and is now 20 weeks pregnant, has underlying health conditions that her lawsuitCox v. Texas, claims put her at an increased risk of complications during pregnancy.

“I’m trying to do what is best for my baby and myself, but the state of Texas is making us both suffer,” Cox said in a press release. “I need to end my pregnancy now so that I have the best chance for my health and a future pregnancy.”

Her plans for a future pregnancy indicate that Cox is willing to risk her health to have a baby, just not a baby with a disability.

Also named in the lawsuit is Cox’s husband Justin and Dr. Damla Carson. They had requested a temporary restraining order and a permanent injunction to the abortion law due to the baby’s diagnosis of Trisomy 18.

Texas law currently protects most preborn children from abortion except in cases in which a mother “has a life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or arising from a pregnancy that places [her] at risk of death or poses a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function unless the abortion is performed or induced.”

This indicates that if Cox’s life were at risk, an abortion would be allowable by law. (Induced abortion — the direct and intentional killing of a preborn child — is not medically necessary, as it is not necessary to purposefully kill a child to end a pregnancy.)

An alleged risk to Cox

According to the court document, the couple was initially “thrilled” at the news of the pregnancy. Then Cox began suffering from “cramping and unidentifiable fluid leaks” and had to visit the emergency room three times. On Nov. 23, testing indicated that her preborn baby has Trisomy 18. The couple’s doctors told them that the child is unlikely to survive and Cox may experience complications in future pregnancies if she continues the pregnancy.

“Because Ms. Cox has had two prior cesarean surgeries (“C-sections”), continuing the pregnancy puts her at high risk for severe complications threatening her life and future fertility, including uterine rupture and hysterectomy. Ms. Cox understands that a dilation and evacuation (“D&E”) abortion is the safest option for her health and her best medical option given that she wants to have more children in the future,” states the lawsuit.

It continues, “Yet because of Texas’s abortion bans, Ms. Cox’s physicians have informed her that their ‘hands are tied’ and she will have to wait until her baby dies inside her or carry the pregnancy to term, at which point she will be forced to have a third C-section, only to watch her baby suffer until death.” 

Her baby will suffer dismemberment

Cox’s baby would likely not suffer at birth if given proper medical and palliative care. However, she is going to suffer through a D&E, dilation and evacuation abortion, during which she will be dismembered.

Rather than give birth to a baby with Trisomy 18, Cox has been given approval to have her child dismembered in the womb in an effort to avoid perceived suffering. After Cox’s cervix has been dilated, the abortionist will use a Sopher clamp to grasp the baby’s arms and legs and pull them off. He will end the procedure by crushing the baby’s skull.

Abortionists themselves have called the procedure “violent,” “horrific,” and “emotionally difficult.” They have said that it has caused them nightmares and made them question doing abortions. Some abortionists refuse to commit abortions after the first trimester because of the brutality of the D&E.

Dr. William Benbow Thompson of the University of California at Irvine told PI, “You are doing a destructive process. Arms, legs, chests come out in the forceps. It’s not a sight for everybody.”

DeShawn Taylor, medical director emerita of Planned Parenthood Arizona joked, “I have to hit the gym for this, I need to hit the gym.”

D&E abortions are risky for the mother

In addition to the horrific dismemberment of Cox’s child, Cox herself will be at risk. She has already said that she would require a C-section rather than a vaginal delivery, and a dismemberment abortion involves the vaginal ‘delivery’ of her dismembered baby. The risks of abortion for any mother increase with the child’s gestational age.

study published in the National Institute of Health’s National Library of Medicine found that a woman’s risk of death from abortion increased by 38% for each additional week of gestation after 8 weeks. Women who do survive often live with injuries.

They have left abortion facilities “mangled” by the D&E procedure. And yet, court documents state that Cox contends a D&E is her “safest option for her health and her best medical option”:

Cox case – D&E

In 2020, a woman was in critical condition after the abortionist punctured her uterus and caused internal injuries during a D&E abortion. An ER staffer called it “the most horrific thing I have ever seen.” There was a large hole in her uterus and her bowels were “mangled.” Parts of her baby were still inside the womb but some had been shoved through the hole in her uterus, including one of the baby’s legs. The woman ended up with a colostomy.

Another woman was rushed to the hospital following a D&E abortion after her uterus was punctured. The damage was so extensive that she required a hysterectomy. Parts of her baby were also pushed through the hole in her uterus. Her baby was nearly intact; however, the baby’s head was reportedly only attached by “a strip of flesh.”

Cox is taking a risk to undergo such an abortion. It appears that she is willing to risk her health only to ensure her next child meets certain standards. And shockingly, it appears the judge in the case chose not to even read about the risks of D&E for women in the exhibits, including one from an OBGYN

Texas AG Ken Paxton responded to the judge’s decision in a scathing rebuke. A press release states:

The Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) granted by the Travis County district judge purporting to allow an abortion to proceed will not insulate hospitals, doctors, or anyone else, from civil and criminal liability for violating Texas’ abortion laws. This includes first degree felony prosecutions, Tex. Health & Safety Code § 170A.004, and civil penalties of not less than $100,000 for each violation, Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 170A.005, 171.207-211.

And, while the TRO purports to temporarily enjoin actions brought by the OAG and TMB against Dr. Karsan and her staff, it does not enjoin actions brought by private citizens. Tex. Health & Safety Code § ¬¬171.207. Nor does it prohibit a district or county attorney from enforcing Texas’ pre-Roe abortion laws against Dr. Karsan or anyone else. The TRO will expire long before the statute of limitations for violating Texas’ abortion laws expires.

Targeting children with Trisomy 18

ABC News claimed, “Cox is currently carrying a pregnancy with virtually no chance the baby — who has trisomy 18 — will survive to birth or long afterward.” Children with Trisomy 18 are continuously targeted for abortion in the womb and are labeled “incompatible with life.” But in recent years, they have been proving doctors wrong. According to one study, children with Trisomy 18 have a 90% survival rate if they receive proper treatment.

Faith Smith is now a teenager living with Trisomy 18 thanks to her parents’ dedication to ensuring she receives the medical care she needs. Likewise, Melody Thenhaus is thriving with Trisomy 18 and is now 10 years old.

“She is healthy, happy, and full of personality,” Melody’s mom told Live Action News.

Kayden McClanahan is in his 20s and living a “happy” and “fun” life with Trisomy 18.

Bella Santorum is the teenage daughter of former Senator Rick Santorum and his wife Karen. Doctors said she wouldn’t survive long enough to be discharged from the hospital, but she has proven them all wrong.

“According to medical textbooks, she is ‘incompatible with life,’ but from where I’m sitting, that’s the biggest lie we were ever told. Bella is full of life,” said her sister Elizabeth Santorum Marcolini.

While Trisomy 18 is a serious health condition and there are children who will die from the condition at birth, every single child is a gift and their lives should be honored with love rather than being tossed aside as unworthy.

Cox claims she is doing what is “best” for her daughter, but dismembering a formerly “wanted” child is never what is “best.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Abortion
Tags: abortion