Family: Brain-dead Texas woman off life support
Erick and Marlise Munoz already had one son, and Erick Munoz told The Associated Press how he had once looked forward to the birth of their second child. But both the hospital and his attorneys agreed the fetus inside Marlise Munoz could not be delivered this early, and not much is known about the fate of children born to mothers who have suffered brain death.
Munoz's attorneys said the fetus had significant abnormalities, including a deformation of the lower body that made it impossible to determine a gender.
Whether the Munoz case leads Texas to change the law remains unclear. In recent years, the Legislature has enacted several new anti-abortion restrictions, including setting the legal guideline for when a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks — a milestone Marlise Munoz's fetus had passed about three weeks ago.
The case has been noted by Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the two leading candidates running to replace him, but none of them has called for any new laws yet or action as a result of the case.
Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, through a spokesman, said the case was a "heartbreaking tragedy" and that "Texas strives to protect both families and human life, and we will continue to work toward that end."
Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth, said through a spokeswoman that any decision like this "should be made by Mrs. Munoz's family, in consultation with her doctors."
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