Jill Biden invites Kate Cox, Texas woman who was denied emergency abortion, to be State of the Union guest


First lady Jill Biden has invited Kate Cox — the Texas woman who was denied an emergency abortion by the state’s Supreme Court — to President Biden’s State of the Union address in March, the White House said Wednesday. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president and first lady called Cox Sunday to talk about her case and experience, and the first lady invited Cox to join her in her box for the address. Cox has accepted, Jean-Pierre said.  

“On Sunday, the president and first lady spoke to Kate Cox, who was forced to go to court to seek permission for the care she needed for a nonviable pregnancy that threatened her life, that threatened her life,” Jean-Pierre said. “They thanked her for her courage in sharing her story and speaking out about the impact of the extreme abortion ban in Texas.” 

Cox, 32, and her husband, Justin, were parents to a girl and boy already when they discovered in August 2023 that she was pregnant with their third child. But a series of tests revealed the baby they were expecting had serious medical problems, including trisomy 18, a severe genetic condition. The Cox family was told their baby would live a week at best, if she survived the pregnancy and birth, and Kate Cox said she feared for her own health and safety. 

Kate Cox

Center for Reproductive Rights

But Texas has effectively banned abortions, and Kate Cox’s request to obtain a court order for an abortion was denied by the state Supreme Court. Ultimately, Cox left the state and received an abortion in New Mexico, and said goodbye to the baby she and her husband had named “Chloe.” 

President Biden and Democrats are making abortion issues front and center in the 2024 presidential campaign. They are painting Republicans as extremist on the issue and pointing to former President Donald Trump’s appointment of three of the five conservative justices who ultimately voted to overturn Roe. 

“For 54 years, they were trying to get Roe v Wade terminated. And I did it and I’m proud to have done it,” Trump said during a town hall in Iowa earlier this month, prompting immediate backlash from the Biden-Harris campaign. 

“As Trump proudly brags he was the one who got rid of Roe v. Wade, paving the way for Republican extremists across the country to pass draconian bans that are hurting women and threatening doctors … one-in-three women of reproductive age now live under an abortion ban,” Biden-Harris campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez told reporters in response to that Trump comment. 

The Biden campaign and Democrats see abortion as a critical issue in the 2024 presidential election, buoyed by ballot measures in conservative states that have actualized protections to abortion access. Voters in Ohio and Kansas have voted to protect access to abortion, as state legislatures around the country have sought to restrict abortions in light of Roe. 

Last year, Jill Biden invited Amanda Zurawski, one of the Texas women who later filed a lawsuit against the state to clarify the state’s abortion laws. According to her testimony in the lawsuit, Zurwaski suffered from a number of medical complications while pregnant and knew she would miscarry, but doctors told her they could not induce labor because the fetus still had a heartbeat. 


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