January 24, 2024, 11:34 AM
President Joe Biden invited Kate Cox, the Texas woman who was denied an emergency abortion by the state's Supreme Court in December, to be a guest at the State of the Union, the White House announced Wednesday.
Cox, 31, left the state to get an abortion after the Texas Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling that would have allowed her to get an abortion for a pregnancy with a severe anomaly.
Cox spoke with President Joe Biden and Jill Biden in a private conversation on Sunday. The president and first lady thanked Cox "for her courage in sharing her story and speaking out about the impact of the extreme abortion ban in Texas," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.
Jean-Pierre said Cox accepted the invitation.
Jean-Pierre said Cox's story is "incredibly powerful, devastating, and it speaks to the moment that we are in now when we talk about women having the right to make these deeply personal decisions about their health care that was taken away by the Supreme Court."
"It is important for Americans to hear the harrowing stories that we're hearing from women of their experiences across the country," Jean-Pierre said.
The White House's announcement of the call and invitation comes after the president and first lady -- joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and the second gentleman -- held a campaign rally on Tuesday in an effort to center abortion access in the 2024 election.
Cox's fetus was diagnosed with trisomy 18, a condition described as incompatible with life.
The Texas mother of two had said she "desperately" wanted a chance to try for a third child but was in jeopardy of losing her uterus due to Texas' abortion bans.
Cox was told by physicians that they could provide her with an induction of labor if the baby's heart stopped beating, according to Marc Hearron, senior counsel at CRR. However, Cox -- already a mother of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old -- had two cesarean deliveries and was told that an "induction carries serious risk of uterine rupture," according to the lawsuit.
Cox said she was denied the safest form of abortion care for her -- a dilation and evacuation procedure.
Cox's condition became public when she filed an emergency lawsuit against the state of Texas seeking a temporary restraining order on Texas' abortion bans in her case, so she could be provided with the abortion care she sought.
However, Cox decided to leave the state to get an abortion in the wake of the Texas Supreme Court ruling against her.
A separate ongoing lawsuit filed by 20 women against the state of Texas is challenging the state's strict abortion bans. The state Supreme Court has not yet issued a decision on whether it will allow the legal challenge to continue.