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  • What is Trisomy 18? Kate Cox story explored as Texas Supreme Court's halting of abortion approval sparks outrage online
What is Trisomy 18? (Image via snip from X/@karthikforTexas)

What is Trisomy 18? Kate Cox story explored as Texas Supreme Court's halting of abortion approval sparks outrage online

In a significant legal battle, the Texas Supreme Court has temporarily prevented Kate Cox, a 31-year-old woman from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, from obtaining an emergency abortion. This decision follows a request from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, sparking outrage online and reigniting the debate on restrictive abortion laws in the state.

Kate Cox's case is the first of its kind since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the nationwide constitutional right to abortion last year, allowing states like Texas to enact near-complete bans.

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Cox sought court authorization for an abortion after her fetus was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic abnormality known for causing severe complications and often resulting in miscarriage, stillbirth, or death shortly after birth.

Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome, is a rare genetic condition characterized by low birth weight, multiple congenital disabilities, and severe developmental challenges. Life expectancy for infants with trisomy 18 is short, and many face life-threatening complications.

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Everything about the petition filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to halt Kate Cox's abortion.

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office filed a petition just before midnight on Thursday, urging the state's supreme court to halt Kate Cox's abortion. Paxton also sent letters to three hospitals, threatening legal action if they proceeded with the procedure. This move by Paxton has stirred controversy, as it challenges the legal and ethical aspects of a woman's right to make decisions about her own body.

Kate Cox's attorneys argued that continuing the pregnancy posed risks to her future fertility, as she has already undergone two C-sections. District Court Judge Maya Guerra Gamble granted a temporary restraining order, allowing Kate Cox to terminate her nonviable pregnancy. However, Paxton swiftly appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, emphasizing the urgency of the matter.

The Texas Supreme Court's decision to block the emergency abortion has sparked widespread criticism. Advocates argue that such restrictions infringe upon a woman's right to make personal medical decisions, especially in cases where the fetus has a severe genetic condition with a limited life expectancy.

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Edwards syndrome occurs randomly, and the likelihood of having a child with trisomy 18 increases with maternal age. However, the rare condition affects approximately 1 in 5,000 to 6,000 live births. Most fetuses with trisomy 18 do not survive to full term due to complications, resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth.


Trisomy 18 can affect anyone, know more about it

According to Cleveland Clinic, it is a rare genetic condition that significantly impacts fetal development. This chromosomal disorder occurs when an individual has an extra copy of chromosome 18, leading to severe physical and intellectual challenges. Children with trisomy 18 often exhibit low birth weight, multiple congenital disabilities, and distinct physical characteristics.

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The condition poses a high risk during pregnancy, affecting an estimated 1 in 5,000 to 6,000 live births. While more common during pregnancy (1 in 2,500 pregnancies), most fetuses with trisomy 18 do not survive to full term due to complications, resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth.

Trisomy 18 can affect anyone, as its occurrence is random and unpredictable. However, the likelihood of a parent having a child with trisomy 18 increases with maternal age at the time of pregnancy.

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Edited by
Pradyot Hegde
 
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