The Kate Cox Case in Texas

Posted on December 13, 2023 By

We’re obviously not giving advice in a particular case since we don’t have medical details about the diagnosis or its accuracy. Still, this case offers at least a scenario to consider. In December of 2023 this case was a major media story for several days. Kate Cox asked for an abortion in Texas under the life-of-the mother exception, which the Texas Supreme Court turned down as insufficiently proven. Her third child had Edwards Syndrome and she had been to the emergency room several times. She is reported to have gone to another state to get the abortion.

 The Consistent Life Network Board had an active email discussion of the case. Below are some of the insights that might be helpful.


Lois Kerschen:

The most compassionate route is for the parents to choose perinatal hospice.

There are other ways to end a pregnancy than to kill the child. She is past 20 weeks, so if her life/health is threatened by a continuation of the pregnancy, then she can go to delivery. Considering the child’s condition and prematurity, it would likely die shortly after birth, if not before.

With perinatal hospice, the parents are prepared for a negative outcome, but they can be comforted in knowing that the child died naturally and not at their hands. The mother said she didn’t want her child to suffer, but the child can be kept comfortable. In my opinion, being torn apart, literally limb from limb, causes a lot more suffering for the baby.

Choosing the hospice route means that the parents will get to see and hold their child. They can get hand/foot prints or a lock of hair or pictures — something for remembrance. If the baby has not already died, then it can die in the loving arms of its parents and be given a death certificate and a respectful funeral rather than being tossed out with the medical waste. A funeral also helps the parents with their grieving.

With abortion, there are no good memories or considerations for the parents or child.

My guess is that Kate Cox is receiving medical advice with a political agenda and being scared into her actions. The most compassionate thing to do is tell her the truth and help her and her husband to make the best of a tragic situation.


Rachel MacNair:

An abortion this late involves inserting laminaria into the cervix to dilate the cervix, then reaching up into the uterus to cut the child into pieces. It’s a two or three day procedure. What I have not seen in any news source yet is why inducing early labor and having perinatal hospice would not be an alternative, if that would also protect the mother’s life and future fertility. Then the child could be treated with dignity, even if continued life isn’t viable. Without that option being mentioned to the mother, I would hold the doctors to be incompetent. That the court never comes up with that either means the court is also not very competent.

It helps in opposing violence to offer alternatives to that violence, rather than simply forbidding it.

Note from Rachel: This was posted as a comment on a National Review article; it garnered this response: “I’m not sure what you are saying is true. Most situations like this do involve inducing labor early. Often the fetus will die during childbirth or very shortly thereafter. The end result is the same, but your parade of horribles does not happen.” I’ve replied with a link to the video below. 

Update from Rachel: on a report on the PBS NewsHour, Kate Cox was shown quite distraught but indicated that the idea of hospice had been presented to her as a possibility with the baby taken to full term. It’s understandable that she recoiled at the prospect, and I can sympathize with her anguish on this. But the details of what the abortion would do to her and to her daughter were nowhere mentioned. People seem to think terminating a pregnancy, even so late, is some kind of magic rather than realizing how horrifying violent it is. 


Bill Samuel:

Most of the medical industry is strongly pro-abortion. I had friends who went to a doctor and there were some tests regarding her pregnancy. The office called a couple of times after hours to say there was a 1% chance the child would have Down Syndrome and asking whether they wanted to terminate! This turned the couple more pro-life, seeing how “pro-choice” was really pro-abortion.


Sarah Terzo:

Dilation and Evacuation takes two days of dilating the cervix before the baby is removed with forceps on the third day – instead of just removing the baby in minutes via c-section or hours via labor. She has to deal with the risk to her life (or the alleged risk to her life) for three more days because it takes three days to end the pregnancy if they choose the D&E, which is what they are insisting on.

By “removed” I mean the doctor inserts forceps and the child is torn apart and pulled out piece by piece, limb by limb. The doctor goes in and pulls off an arm, or a leg, then keeps pulling of limbs and then pulls out the rest of the baby, then crushes the skull.

There was a woman named Brenda Pratt Shafer who worked in a late-term abortion facility. She only worked there for three days and quit. She saw babies being aborted by D&E via ultrasound. The doctor, Martin Haskell, pulled off legs and an arms and extracted them, and she could see that the babies still alive. She could see a heartbeat on the ultrasound screen. The doctor threw the arms and legs in a pan, then pulled out the torso in pieces, then finally crushed the skull and extracted it.

That’s what they’re insisting on doing.

Here is a video of a former abortionist explaining the procedure (no pictures or video, just a diagram).


The person in the video, Dr. Kathi Aultmen, performed hundreds of these D&E’s before she came over to the pro-life side.

Is this really better than hospice? Or even a quick c-section or inducing labor, if possible?

Finally, I wrote an article analyzing all the studies they have done about women who had fatal fetal diagnoses and comparing those who chose perinatal hospice vs. those who chose abortion. All studies came to the same conclusion when looking at the emotional aftermath for the woman. Every single one found that the women (and couples) who chose abortion suffered more depression, grief, and guilt because they had to deal with choosing their baby’s death and never got a chance to have the closure of seeing the baby and saying goodbye.



Studies: Abortion not the best option for women pregnant with dying babies

From a medical doctor: Is abortion the right response to a baby with a potentially life-limiting diagnosis? The case of Kate Cox and her Trisomy 18 child.  By Tom Perille M.D. with Democrats for Life of Colorado

A collection of stories of parents who continued their pregnancies after their baby was diagnosed with Edwards (Trisomy 18).

Live Action News take on the case.


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