March 7 (Reuters) – Five women who said they were denied abortions despite grave risk to their lives or fetuses sued Texas on Monday, in the first apparent case of pregnant women suing over curbs imposed after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, The New York Times said.
The lawsuit was filed in a state court in Austin, which is Texas’ capital, court records show. A spokesman for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is backing the lawsuit, confirmed the filing. A copy of the complaint was not immediately available.
Texas, like most of the 13 states with abortion bans, allows exceptions when a physician finds a risk of “substantial” harm to the mother, or in cases of rape or incest, or if the fetus has a fatal diagnosis, the Times said.
But the prospect of lost medical licenses, fines and up to 99 years in prison has scared doctors into not providing legal abortions, and the lawsuit seeks to clarify when doctors can make exceptions, the Times said. It does not seek to overturn the Texas ban.
A spokesman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had no immediate comment.