The Justice Department is Suing Idaho over a Near-Total Ban of Abortions
This is the first major litigation attempt against a state’s abortion ban since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
A lawsuit has been filed by the DOJ against Idaho and is a near-total abortion ban. The main argument is that Idaho’s law conflicts with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. The EMTALA allows providers to offer medically stabilizing treatment in an emergency, even if the care is an abortion. The DOJ said the law will likely force providers to withhold care based on a “well-founded fear of criminal prosecution.”
Idaho’s trigger law would take effect on August 25th and would force arrests of doctors for performing an abortion. Not just a normal situation of abortion, but punishments would be made even if the patient is suffering from a medical emergency such as ectopic pregnancy, severe preeclampsia, and even miscarriage complications. A copy of a police report would have to be given to the physician in cases of rape, incest, and saving the life of the mother.
“On the day Roe and Casey were overturned, we promised that the Justice Department would work tirelessly to protect and advance reproductive freedom. We will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that pregnant women get the emergency medical treatment to which they are entitled under federal law.”
Merrick Garland, the Attorney General, said as he announced the lawsuit.
This is the first major litigation attempt against a state’s abortion ban since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. This is one of the first disputes to occur as well since the creation of the EMTALA legislation which protects providers when offering legally mandated, life- or health-saving abortion services.
“The law will chill providers’ willingness to perform abortions in emergency situations and will hurt patients by blocking access to medically necessary health care.
We know that these are frightening and uncertain times for pregnant women and their providers and the Justice Department through the work of its task force is committed to doing everything we can to ensure continued lawful access to reproductive services.”
Vanita Gupta, the Associate Attorney General, said of the EMTALA