In the aftermath of a Texas judge’s decision permitting a woman to undergo an emergency abortion, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a cautionary warning to three Houston hospitals, emphasizing the potential consequences if they proceed with the procedure, as first reported by The Houston Chronicle.
In a letter addressed to Houston Methodist, The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, and Texas Children’s Hospital on Thursday, Paxton stressed the importance of understanding the long-term implications should they permit such an abortion at their facilities.
In the letter, Paxton calls Travis County District Judge Maya Gurra Gamble, an “activist” judge who is not medically qualified to decide whether Kate Cox, a 31-year-old woman from Dallas, has a “life-threatening” condition. Cox stated that her health and fertility were at risk due to a fatal fetal diagnosis, and Judge Guerra Gamble granted Dr. Kamala Karsan, Cox’s Houston physician, the right to perform the abortion without legal repercussions.
The “activist” judge’s order, Paxton said, “does not insulate hospitals, doctors or anyone else” from facing civil or criminal legal consequences under the state’s overlapping abortion bans that invite enforcement from local prosecutors, Paxton’s office and everyday citizens.
Marc Hearron, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, accused Paxton of resorting to fearmongering.
“Rather than respect the judiciary, he is misrepresenting the court’s order,” Hearron said in an emailed statement to The Houston Chronicle. “He attacks the judge who rules against him as an ‘activist judge’. He is trying to bulldoze the legal system to make sure Kate and pregnant women like her continue to suffer.”
According to The Houston Chronicle, Houston Methodist distanced itself from the matter, stating they were not involved. The Woman’s Hospital of Texas acknowledged Paxton’s letter and is monitoring the legal case. The third hospital did not provide a comment in response to a request.