Texas Supreme Court Halts Emergency Order from Lower Court Judge Allowing Kate Cox to Abort Fetus With Lethal Abnormality

For the first time in at least 50 years, a judge has intervened to allow an adult woman to terminate her pregnancy.

Kate Cox, 31, at 20 weeks pregnant, has learned her fetus has a lethal abnormality that is almost always fatal at birth. After a 45-minute Zoom hearing Thursday, Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble ruled that Cox should be allowed to terminate the pregnancy, and that Dr. Damla Karsan, a Houston OB-GYN, should be protected from civil and criminal penalties if she performs the procedure. The state cannot directly appeal Thursday’s order, since it is a temporary restraining order. Instead, the Office of the Attorney General would have to file a writ of mandamus petition, asking a higher court to take the extraordinary measure of overturning the emergency order.

Some Republicans Were Willing to Compromise on Abortion Ban Exceptions. Anti-Abortion Activists Made Sure They Didn’t.

On the floors of state legislatures over the past year, doctors detailed the risks their pregnant patients have faced when forced to wait to terminate until their health deteriorated. Women shared their trauma. Some Republican lawmakers even promised to support clarifications.

But so far, few efforts to add exceptions to the laws have succeeded.

What Happens Next in the Case Seeking to Block Texas’ Abortion Bans?

The Texas Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday in a case which seeks to clarify the scope of Texas’ “medical emergency” exception under its state abortion bans. The plaintiffs—20 Texas women denied abortions, joined by two doctors—were denied abortion care in Texas for their medically complex pregnancies, including cases where the fetus was not expected to survive after birth.

A ruling from the state Supreme Court is expected in the coming weeks or months. All the while, the case is working its way through the lower courts, which goes to full trial on March 25, 2024. In the meantime, the Center for Reproductive Rights “stands ready to help anyone in a situation where their life is on the line and they’re not getting the care they need.”

Breaking the Silence Around Sexual Abuse: The Ms. Q&A With Maya Golden About New Memoir ‘The Return Trip’

Award-winning multimedia journalist Maya Golden’s searing but redemptive memoir, The Return Trip, takes readers on a harrowing journey. The book offers a no-holds-barred look into the sexual abuse that began when Golden was 5 and charts her course through a troubled adolescence and young adulthood. Along the way, she probes the long-term impact of repeated sexual violation and zeroes in on the ways religious institutions, educational systems, and familial denial continue to intersect and allow the perpetuation of violence.

Golden spoke to Ms. reporter Eleanor J. Bader before The Return Trip’s Nov. 14 release. Their wide-ranging conversation touched on the book as well as the work of the 1 in 3 Foundation, a group Golden founded to support survivors of sexual assault.

Censoring Conversations on Race Doesn’t Protect Children

Lawmakers are barring the education of, or exposure to, an understanding of the purposes and catalysts for the civil rights movement and the lasting impacts of white supremacy and white superiority by insisting on revisionist history and outright elimination of teaching facts in schools.

As Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson reminded us on the anniversary of the Birmingham bombing, “The uncomfortable lessons are often the ones that teach us the most about ourselves.”

Texas *Still* Wants to Trap Abortion Seekers

On Oct. 23, three male Lubbock County commissioners approved an abortion trafficking ordinance making it unlawful to transport anyone seeking an abortion through the unincorporated area of Lubbock County—all thanks to tireless crusader Mark Lee Dickson, director of East Texas Right to Life and the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative, who is pushing to bring about the day when “abortion is considered a great moral, social and political wrong and is outlawed in every single state.”

Even Justice Brett Kavanaugh—certainly no fan of Roe—expressed the view in his concurring opinion in Dobbs that a state cannot bar its residents from cross-border abortion travel.

2023 Election Results: Abortion Wins Big

When analyzing Tuesday’s election results, one point becomes glaringly apparent: Abortion. Wins.

Abortion won (big) in Ohio. Abortion won in Virginia, where Democratic lawmakers pledged to voters to keep Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s anti-abortion and anti-education policies at bay—and voters delivered. Abortion helped keep Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) in office, who has made his pro-abortion-rights position clear. 

Ms. breaks down the results from the elections we were watching—plus a few other notable ones.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Women-Majority City Councils Make a Difference; Remembering ‘Frankenstein’ Author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. In this week’s Weekend Reading, we’ll expose the “tricks” that have haunted our democracy and celebrate the “treats” that can remove these obstacles once and for all.

Here’s a preview: Women-majority city councils (like New York City’s!) make a difference; Missouri’s supreme court is one of just 11 in the country to have a female majority; will Texas’ 12th District will elect another woman to office?; and more.