Straight From DC

Justice Department sues Idaho over abortion law

By , ,

President Joe Biden is signing an executive order directing the Health and Human Services secretary to help women access abortion services across state lines through Medicaid. The White House said the order is in line with what the Biden administration calls a “bedrock right” to travel across state lines to get an abortion. 

It’s the administration’s latest move to protect or expand abortion access and comes a day after the Justice Department sued Idaho, claiming the state is breaking federal law by not providing abortions to women experiencing a medical emergency.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said that under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, doctors and hospitals are required to perform an abortion if they determine it will stabilize the patient in an emergency. That applies even in states where abortion is illegal.

Garland said the Idaho law would subject doctors to arrest and criminal prosecution even if they perform an abortion to save a woman’s life. Doctors would then have the burden of proving they are not criminally liable.

Although the Idaho law provides an exception to prevent the death of a pregnant woman, it includes no exception for cases in which the abortion is necessary to prevent serious jeopardy to the woman’s health,” 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.”

Idaho’s Attorney General Lawrence Wasden called the suit politically motivated.

Since the Dobbs decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in June, the Department has had nearly six weeks to discuss with Idaho its abortion laws and their reconciliation with EMTALA,” Wasden said in a statement.

The big question is whether federal law supersedes state law when it comes to emergency abortion procedures. The Justice Department argued it does, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services put out official guidance explaining how. They said the Inspector General for Health and Human Services can impose a $119,942 fine for violations.

Wasden pointed to U.S. Code 1395dd(f) that states, “The provisions of this section do not preempt any State or local law requirement, except to the extent that the requirement directly conflicts with a requirement of this section.”

Wasden said he hoped the Justice Department would have worked with Idaho to “reconcile” the law, rather than file a lawsuit.

The Justice Department is seeking an injunction and a judgment that Idaho’s law violates the Constitution’s supremacy clause. 

President Biden is signing an executive order, directing the Health and Human Services Secretary to help women access abortion services across state lines through Medicaid. 

It’s the latest move from the Biden administration to protect or expand access and comes a day after the Justice Department sued Idaho, claiming the state is breaking federal law by not providing abortions to women who are having a medical emergency. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland says under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, doctors and hospitals are required to perform an abortion if they determine it will stabilize someone in an emergency. That applies even in states where abortion is illegal. 

Garland says the Idaho law would subject doctors to arrest and criminal prosecution even if they perform an abortion to save a woman’s life. 

MERRICK GARLAND | U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL says: “Although the Idaho law provides an exception to prevent the death of a pregnant woman, it includes no exception for cases in which the abortion is necessary to prevent serious jeopardy to the woman’s health. 

Idaho’s Attorney General Lawrence Wasden called the suit politically motivated. He said since the Dobbs decision quote: the Department has had nearly six weeks to discuss with Idaho its abortion laws and their reconciliation with EMTALA.”

The big question is whether federal law supersedes state law when it comes to emergency abortion procedures. The Justice Department is seeking an injunction, and a judgment that Idaho’s law breaks the constitution’s supremacy clause. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan 

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.

Get ready to rate in…

lock

Watch the report to unlock rating

Your Rating

Rating closes in 4 days

Total User Rating

eye icon

Rate to reveal

Community ratings are revealed after you rate the story.

comment bubbles

President Joe Biden is signing an executive order directing the Health and Human Services secretary to help women access abortion services across state lines through Medicaid. The White House said the order is in line with what the Biden administration calls a “bedrock right” to travel across state lines to get an abortion. 

It’s the administration’s latest move to protect or expand abortion access and comes a day after the Justice Department sued Idaho, claiming the state is breaking federal law by not providing abortions to women experiencing a medical emergency.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said that under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, doctors and hospitals are required to perform an abortion if they determine it will stabilize the patient in an emergency. That applies even in states where abortion is illegal.

Garland said the Idaho law would subject doctors to arrest and criminal prosecution even if they perform an abortion to save a woman’s life. Doctors would then have the burden of proving they are not criminally liable.

Although the Idaho law provides an exception to prevent the death of a pregnant woman, it includes no exception for cases in which the abortion is necessary to prevent serious jeopardy to the woman’s health,” 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.”

Idaho’s Attorney General Lawrence Wasden called the suit politically motivated.

Since the Dobbs decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in June, the Department has had nearly six weeks to discuss with Idaho its abortion laws and their reconciliation with EMTALA,” Wasden said in a statement.

The big question is whether federal law supersedes state law when it comes to emergency abortion procedures. The Justice Department argued it does, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services put out official guidance explaining how. They said the Inspector General for Health and Human Services can impose a $119,942 fine for violations.

Wasden pointed to U.S. Code 1395dd(f) that states, “The provisions of this section do not preempt any State or local law requirement, except to the extent that the requirement directly conflicts with a requirement of this section.”

Wasden said he hoped the Justice Department would have worked with Idaho to “reconcile” the law, rather than file a lawsuit.

The Justice Department is seeking an injunction and a judgment that Idaho’s law violates the Constitution’s supremacy clause. 

Get ready to rate in…

Community Rating

Community ratings are revealed after you rate the story.

lock

Watch the report to unlock rating

Rate the bias

Keep us honest! Let us know if you thought this video was neutral or biased.

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.