Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are facing a wave of online criticism following the temporary court blockage of an abortion for a Dallas woman, Kate Cox.
Earlier this week, a Texas judge had granted Cox, a 31-year-old mother of two, permission to undergo an abortion due to a fatal genetic condition in the fetus. However, the Texas Supreme Court issued an order on Friday temporarily staying the lower court’s decision, preventing Cox from legally obtaining the medical procedure within the state. This stay will persist until the court issues a comprehensive decision on the case.
The backdrop to this legal battle is Texas’ implementation of one of the strictest abortion bans in the United States, initiated after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. The state’s ban, effective after approximately six weeks of pregnancy and lacking exceptions for rape or incest, places severe restrictions on abortion access. Cox’s lawsuit marks a significant development as the first instance since the Roe v. Wade overturn where a woman has sought court approval for an abortion.
Despite the medical exception in the state’s six-week abortion ban, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has contested the lower court’s decision, asserting that Kate Cox failed to prove a life-threatening medical condition or imminent risk of death or severe bodily harm. Paxton conveyed this stance in a letter to three Houston hospitals.
The Center for Reproductive Rights is Cox’s attorney, and her case has become a focal point in the ongoing controversy over abortion rights in Texas. Molly Duane, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, expressed concern in a press release, stating, “While we still hope that the Court ultimately rejects the state’s request and does so quickly, in this case we fear that justice delayed will be justice denied. We are talking about urgent medical care. Kate is already 20 weeks pregnant. This is why people should not need to beg for healthcare in a court of law.”
Newsweek sought comments from both Paxton’s office and Governor Greg Abbott’s office but received no immediate response via phone and email.
The Texas Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily block Cox’s abortion has triggered widespread outrage on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
On Friday, X user Jack Brown expressed frustration, stating, “Ken Paxton and Greg Abbott think they own and have the right to control the reproductive systems of every woman and every girl in Texas. Dwell on this. This is where we are, America. This is the Republican party. Vote Democracy. Vote Blue.”
Another user, @saraaaaajean, questioned the motivations of Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton, suggesting, “I don’t believe that Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton actually believe abortion is so wrong in a case like this that it shouldn’t be obtainable. I think they just want to assert dominance and control over this poor woman and frankly, all women. Which is horrific and disgusting.”
Human rights attorney Paula Cobia issued a warning to Texas politicians, including Republican Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, linking them to the controversial abortion policy. She wrote, “Kate Cox. Remember her name @tedcruz @JohnCornyn @KenPaxtonTX @GregAbbott_TX. It’s now synonymous with your ‘kill the woman to force the birth of a nonviable fetus’ barbaric abortion policy. The polls will be flooded to defeat you. Your hatred for women will be your undoing.”
Expressing dissatisfaction with the outcome of the 2022 gubernatorial election in Texas, X user Ricky Davila lamented the choice of Greg Abbott over Democratic nominee Robert “Beto” O’Rourke. Davila criticized the decision, calling Abbott a “criminal murderer” and asserting that O’Rourke could have brought about comprehensive progress for the state.
In response, X user @montividas disagreed with Davila’s perspective, characterizing the Democratic version of progress as communism and deeming it “sad and frightening.”
User @texan_maga raised doubts about the validity of Kate Cox’s case, questioning whether her situation posed a genuine health risk and dismissing it as “propaganda.”