The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Idaho over its abortion ban.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the lawsuit against Idaho after the state passed a law severely restricting abortion.
Idaho’s law will take effect on August 25.
“The suit seeks to hold invalid the state’s criminal prohibition on providing abortions, as applied to women who are suffering medical emergencies,” Garland said. “This may be the case, for example, when a woman is undergoing a miscarriage that threatens septic infection or hemorrhage, or is suffering from severe preeclampsia,” Garland said.
“In the days since the Dobbs decision, there have been widespread reports of delays and denials of treatment to pregnant women experiencing medical emergencies,” Garland said.
“Today, the Justice Department’s message is clear — it does not matter what state a hospital subject to EMTALA operates in. If a patient comes into the emergency room with a medical emergency, jeopardizing the patient’s life or health, the hospital must provide the treatment necessary to stabilize that patient. This includes abortion, and that is the necessary treatment.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland announces the DoJ has filed a lawsuit against Idaho over the state’s restrictive abortion law:
“The suit seeks to hold invalid the state’s criminal prohibition on providing abortions, as applied to women who are suffering medical emergencies.” pic.twitter.com/89wUrH4XGG
— The Recount (@therecount) August 2, 2022
NBC News reported:
The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Tuesday arguing that Idaho’s near-total abortion ban violates federal law — the Biden administration’s first legal action to protect abortion access since the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in late June.
In making the announcement at DOJ’s headquarters, Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters that Idaho’s ban violates a federal law that requires medical providers to offer emergency medical treatment.
Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), every hospital in the U.S. that receives Medicare funds must provide “necessary stabilizing treatment to patients who arrive at their emergency departments while experiencing a medical emergency,” the 17-page complaint reads. In some circumstances, the necessary medical treatment is an abortion.
The suit seeks a declaratory judgment stating that Idaho’s law violates the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause and is preempted and conflicts with federal law. It also seeks a judgment that Idaho may not initiate a prosecution against or attempt to revoke the professional license of any medical provider who performs an abortion authorized under federal law. The department also called for a preliminary and permanent injunction against the state of Idaho to prohibit enforcement of its abortion ban when it conflicts with federal law.