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Justice

Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Photo credit: Texas Attorney General / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

What is playing out in Texas right now should horrify every American and serve as a reminder of what the GOP ultimately hopes to accomplish.

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The Texas Supreme Court late on Friday night stayed the decision of a lower court that would have allowed a Dallas woman to have an abortion. The judges did not rule on the merits of the case, which means the stay only gives the high court more time to decide the matter. 

Not that this should be needed. One would hope that ultimately sanity will prevail in this case and Kate Cox, 31, will be allowed to terminate the nonviable pregnancy that could put her future reproductive health in jeopardy. If you think about it, that would actually be the pro-life approach. She can either have one baby who won’t survive now or many babies in the future. 

This is just one of many examples that illustrate how utterly ridiculous Texas’s draconian anti-abortion law is, and how state officials, first and foremost Attorney General Ken Paxton, are making women suffer in order to advance their political agenda. 

The only good thing that is coming out of this current case is that the country is paying attention and that Americans, especially women, understand what’s in store for them if Republicans have their way.

But Cox’s problems are much more immediate. This is a young woman whose health is in acute danger, all because right wing politicians want to use her to make an absurd point about their “pro-life credentials.” 

“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,” said Molly Duane with the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Cox. 

“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,” she added.

For his part, Paxton is taking an extremely hard line, showing that Democrats are not talking about some far-fetched dystopian future in which Republicans want to have full control over the bodies of all women in the US. Instead, this is the reality that tens of millions of Americans are already living in. Some may have the means to travel elsewhere in the country to make their own reproductive decisions, but for countless others that is not an option

Paxton is just looking for someone to punish. Earlier this week he sent a letter to three hospitals putting them on notice that they would be held criminally liable should they provide Cox with the health care she needs. 

Heading into the 2024 election year, it seems apparent that we will be hearing a lot more about this case and many others like it in various states that have also adopted similarly repressive anti-abortion laws. 

It’s tough to see how forcing the country to watch elderly men make decisions about the bodies of young women will help the GOP, but for now Paxton and others of his ilk seem determined to ram their backwards worldview down the throats of Americans. 

One can only hope that the women who find themselves at the center of these cases will make it through without suffering any additional physical or mental harm. That, however, seems to be the least of Paxton’s concerns. 

Author

  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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