Justice Division Biden suing Idaho over state abortion restrictions

Idaho’s near-total abortion ban, which takes effect later this month, would be nearly impossible, according to the Justice Department. patients requiring an abortion in medical emergencies, such as ectopic pregnancy or other complications, from receiving potentially life-saving treatment.

“In the days since the Dobbs decision, there have been widespread reports of delays or denials for pregnant women who have experienced medical emergencies,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a news conference Tuesday. “We will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that pregnant women receive the medical care they are entitled to.”

The trigger law, passed in 2020, would make abortion a punishable felony punishable by up to five years in prison. There are exceptions to the ban for cases of rape or female genital mutilation if they are reported to law enforcement or to prevent the death of the pregnant person.

The Justice Department is suing under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which states that hospitals receiving Medicare funds “must provide medical treatment necessary to stabilize that condition before transferring or discharging the patient ,” according to Tuesday’s lawsuit.

“Idaho’s law would make it a criminal offense for doctors to comply with ETALA’s requirement to provide stabilization treatment, even when a doctor determines that abortion is the medical treatment necessary to prevent a patient from serious health risks or even death,” DOJ said.

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Abortion providers in Idaho have also challenged the state’s trigger law. The state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case on Wednesday.

DOJ last month created a task force It was intended to protect abortion fights after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs that overturned Roe v. Wade and destroyed the federal right to abortion.

Garland said there is “no way for the legislature to get around” the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs.

“The Supreme Court said that each state can make its own decisions about abortion, but so can the federal government,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “Nothing that the Supreme Court said, said that the statutes passed by the Congress, for example ETALA are invalid in any way. It is quite the opposite. United States of America. It is a decision made in the Constitution of the States The supremacy clause is unified. Federal law invalidates directly conflicting state laws.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

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