On Monday Family Council joined 29 other organizations in filing an amicus brief in a lawsuit over the federal government’s effort to circumvent state pro-life laws.
The Biden Administration is trying to use the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) to require emergency rooms in Idaho to perform abortions in violation of the state’s pro-life laws. But pro-lifers are pushing back in federal court.
EMTALA is a decades old law signed by President Ronald Reagan. It is designed to ensure people are able to receive emergency care even if they are unable to pay.
After the U.S. Supreme Court released its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision overturning Roe v. Wade, President Biden issued an executive order urging the Secretary of Health and Human Services to identify ways to use federal authority to expand abortion access.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a letter and guidance instructing doctors and hospitals that EMTALA requires them to perform abortions as a “stabilizing treatment” or transfer the woman to another facility for an abortion if they determine that doing so is necessary to protect the life or health of the mother — even if the abortion would be illegal under state law.
Health exceptions in abortion laws are notoriously vague and can inadvertently permit abortion on demand in many cases. That’s why states like Arkansas limit abortion to situations where the mother’s life is at risk instead of using a broader “health” exception.
However, the Biden Administration’s letter to doctors and hospitals last year specifically says, “And when a state law prohibits abortion and does not include an exception for the life and health of the pregnant person — or draws the exception more narrowly than EMTALA’s emergency medical condition definition — that state law is preempted [overridden by the federal government].”
In the case of State of Idaho v. United States of America, the Biden Administration is attempting to use this new interpretation of EMTALA to force E.R. doctors in Idaho to perform abortions that might be illegal under the state’s pro-life laws.
The amicus brief filed Monday argues that the federal government is unlawfully intruding into state law and that EMTALA does not give the Biden Administration the authority to regulate abortion or preempt state pro-life laws.
The Biden Administration simply has no business trying to overrule state pro-life laws or turn emergency rooms into abortion facilities. Family Council is pleased to stand with other pro-life groups in pushing back against abortion in our country.
Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.