However, doctors have said that in practice the wording is vague and unclear, leaving them at risk of legal consequences for exercising their medical judgment.

Although the Texas Supreme Court blocked the lower court’s decision to allow an emergency abortion, the justices indicated they believed the judiciary should not address the issue.

“Our ruling today does not block a life-saving abortion in this case when a doctor exercising reasonable medical judgment determines that an abortion is necessary under the appropriate legal standards,” they said. “If Ms. Cox’s circumstances meet or have become the statutory exception, no court order is required.”

“However, the Texas Medical Board can do more to provide guidance in response to the current confusion,” the order states.

‘death sentence’

Reacting to the news that Ms. Cox had left Texas, Representative Greg Landsman, an Ohio Democrat, said: “People are going to die because of these extreme abortion bans. “Everyone deserves access to reproductive care.”

“Kate’s case showed the world that abortion bans are dangerous for pregnant people and exceptions don’t work,” Ms Northup added.

“She really wanted to be cared for where she lived and to recover at home with her family. While Kate had the option to leave the state, most people do not and a situation like this could be a death sentence.”

The center said it believes Ms. Cox’s case is the first since Roe v. Wade in 1973 in which a woman has petitioned the court for an abortion.

On December 8, a Kentucky woman who identified herself under the pseudonym Jane Doe and is eight weeks pregnant also filed a lawsuit challenging her state’s abortion bans.

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of Ms. Doe and others in similar situations and argues: “Pregnant Kentuckians have the right to determine their own future and make private decisions about their lives and relationships.” AFP

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