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Kate Cox, Texas woman at center of high-profile abortion case, will attend the State of the Union address

Cox, a mother of two, sought a court order to block Texas' abortion bans after she discovered that her developing fetus had trisomy 18, a fatal diagnosis. 

Kate Cox, the Texas woman at the center of a high-profile abortion case, will attend the State of Union address in March as a guest of first lady Jill Biden, the White House said Wednesday.

President Joe Biden and the first lady called Cox on Sunday to hear about her experience and invited her to attend the address, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a news briefing.

"They thanked her for her courage in sharing her story and speaking out about the impact of the extreme abortion ban in Texas," Jean-Pierre said. "The first lady invited Kate to join her as a guest at the State of the Union and Kate accepted, so those are ways that you're going to hear the president lift up those very personal stories."

Kate Cox, a 31-year-old Dallas-area mother of two, found out that her developing fetus has trisomy 18, a rare chromosomal disorder likely to cause stillbirth or the death of the baby shortly after it’s born.
Kate Cox.Courtesy the Center for Reproductive Rights

Cox sought a court order to terminate her pregnancy when she found out soon after Thanksgiving that her developing fetus had been diagnosed with trisomy 18, a rare chromosomal disorder that significantly increases the risk of stillbirth or infant death shortly after birth. A Texas lower court granted a request from Cox and her husband to block the state’s abortion ban from applying to her case, but the Texas Supreme Court ruled against her last month.

Cox ultimately traveled out of state shortly before the ruling by the Texas Supreme Court, with her lawyers saying she needed to seek medical care “due to the ongoing deterioration” of her health. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, threatened legal action against medical professionals who may have been involved with Cox’s case.

Biden announced new initiatives on abortion rights at a meeting Monday with members of his task force on reproductive health care access, which fell on the 51st anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. The Supreme Court overturned the ruling in 2022.

The administration has repeatedly called on Congress to pass laws that would restore protections for reproductive rights that existed under Roe. But those efforts fell short even when Democrats controlled the House and the Senate.

Biden on Monday reiterated his demand for Congress to codify protections that were provided by Roe, adding that if a bill were passed, he would “immediately” sign it into law.

“Stop playing politics with the women’s lives and freedom. Let doctors do their job,” he said.

The White House and Biden’s re-election campaign have blamed Republicans for their restrictive position on abortion that has spurred bans in states throughout the country, which they decry as part of a “dangerous, extreme, and out-of-touch agenda.”

Democrats have drawn significant attention to abortion rights as a key issue in their campaigns since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. But Biden has largely shied away from casting himself as an advocate for abortion rights, instead focusing on issues such as health care, infrastructure and the economy.

However, Biden’s re-election campaign is seeking to “aggressively tie Donald Trump” to abortion restrictions or bans throughout the country.