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First lady invites Texas woman who fled state for abortion care to State of the Union

Kate Cox, a Dallas-area woman who sued for the right to terminate a nonviable pregnancy and then left Texas to get abortion care, will attend the State of the Union as a guest of first lady Jill Biden, the White House said Wednesday.

The invitation comes as the Biden campaign focuses heavily on abortion rights as part of the reelection effort.

The Biden campaign also featured Cox in a video released this week tying former President Trump to the end of Roe v. Wade. Campaign officials said Cox’s case is a perfect example of their main argument against Trump: That women’s rights will be under attack by a Trump-led government.

“On Sunday, the president and the first lady spoke to Kate Cox, who was forced to go to court to seek permission for the care she needed for a nonviable pregnancy that threatened her life. They thanked her for her courage in sharing her story. And speaking out about the impact of the extreme abortion ban in Texas,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Dramatic Texas case underscores minefields for courts on abortion

Cox was more than 20 weeks pregnant with a fetus that had been diagnosed with trisomy 18, a chromosomal anomaly that leads to miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of the infant within hours, days or weeks after birth.

Doctors told her that carrying the pregnancy to term would likely jeopardize her fertility, and she and her husband said they wanted more children. But her doctors were afraid of prosecution or losing their medical licenses under the state’s near-total ban and refused to provide an abortion until the fetus died.

So Cox sued in what is believed to be the first attempt by an individual woman to challenge a state’s abortion ban.

A district court granted her permission, but the state Supreme Court paused the ruling the next day. Cox’s attorneys said she couldn’t afford to wait, and she ended up leaving the state to get an abortion before the court ultimately ruled against her.

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