DALLAS - A Dallas woman who sought court permission to have an abortion has been invited to the State of the Union by President Joe Biden and his wife Jill.
31-year-old Kate Cox asked the Texas Supreme Court for permission to terminate her pregnancy when doctors told her that her fetus had a lethal condition.
Cox's request was denied, and she had to leave the state to have the procedure.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the Bidens called Cox on Sunday to invite her to the State of the Union.
The Bidens "thanked [Cox] for her courage in sharing her story and speaking out about the impact of the extreme abortion ban in Texas," said Jean-Pierre on Wednesday.
The first lady invited Cox to attend the speech as her guest and she accepted.
"Her story is incredibly powerful, devastating," said Jean-Pierre. "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."
US President Joe Biden, right, and First Lady Jill Biden walk on the South Lawn of the White House after arriving on Marine One in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. Biden is mounting a fresh push on abortion rights, part of a broader str
The president is expected to make abortion rights a key issue in his re-election campaign.
14 states, including Texas, have banned abortion at all stages of pregnancy, with some exceptions, and two others have banned abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks of gestation.
Cox's fetus had a condition known as trisomy 18, which doctors told her could jeopardize both her health and her ability to have more children.
She was 21 weeks pregnant at the time of the termination.
Trisomy 18 occurs in approximately 1 in 2,500 diagnosed pregnancies, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
There is no live birth in about 70% of pregnancies involving the diagnosis that proceed past 12 weeks gestational age, doctors said in a court brief.
An Austin judge originally ruled in favor of Cox, but the Texas Supreme Court put a temporary hold on the ruling.
Cox left the state to have the procedure. Shortly after, the Texas Supreme Court ruled against Cox, saying she would not have qualified under the state's medical exceptions.
"President Biden and Vice President Harris understand the serious implications of women’s health and the consequences of Trump’s abortion bans – that’s they are laser focused on protecting our freedoms and codifying Roe. From the Roe v. Wade decision to the brave women suing the state of Texas over the current abortion ban – it is clear that Texans have remained at the forefront of the fight to protect abortion access for decades and Kate Cox’s presence at this year’s State of the Union address will send a powerful message to voters nationwide," said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa in a statement.
The State of the Union address will be delivered on March 7.