Joe Biden’s administration has filed a lawsuit against Idaho;s abortion ban that will soon go into effect, falsely claiming it puts women’s lives at risk.
Idaho has a trigger law that will soon protect babies from abortions, but Justice Department on Tuesday filed a lawsuit that challenges Idaho’s protective law — arguing that it would prevent medically necessary abortions.
Despite false reports that abortion bans would prevent doctors from treating pregnant women for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, pro-life doctors confirm that is not the case. Some 35 states have laws making it clear that miscarriage is not abortion and every state with an abortion ban allows treatment for both.
The federal government brought the suit seeking to invalidate the state’s “criminal prohibition on providing abortions as applied to women suffering medical emergencies,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. It’s the first lawsuit the Biden administration has brought in response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
The Justice Department brought the suit because federal prosecutors believe Idaho’s law would force doctors to violate the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, a federal law that requires anyone coming to a medical facility for emergency treatment to be stabilized and treated, Garland said.
“Idaho’s law would make it a criminal offense for doctors to provide the emergency medical treatment that federal law requires,” Garland said.
But the claim is false, just as it was when the Biden administration recently attacked the Texas abortion ban on the same rationale.
Idaho’s abortion ban permits a physician who does an abortion to raise the affirmative defense that the abortion was necessary to save the mother’s life or that the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest that was reported. In both cases, the physician must choose a procedure that is most likely to save the life of the baby and protect the mother. The law explicitly excludes contraception from the definition of abortion, and women upon whom abortions are performed may not be prosecuted.
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In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit challenging a new Biden administration action that threatens hospitals with loss of Medicaid funds if their emergency rooms refuse to abort unborn babies.
The lawsuit comes in response to a new guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday – one of the Biden administration’s many actions to expand abortions post-Roe v. Wade. The guidance invokes the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act to require hospitals to perform abortions for “emergency medical conditions,” a broad term that may include situations where it is not necessary to abort the unborn baby.
“By this move, the Biden Administration seeks to transform every emergency room in the country into a walk-in abortion clinic,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement.
Texas and a dozen other states protect unborn babies by banning abortions in all or almost all cases. However, every state law allows exceptions for the rare cases when a mother’s life is at risk.
The Biden administration’s new guidance to hospitals on Monday appears to be just a reminder that emergency rooms must do abortions when mothers’ lives are at risk.
But pro-life leaders said the directive does more than that.
“While the federal directive claims to focus only on life-threatening circumstances, language in the administration’s new guidance would actually broaden abortions when the mother’s life is not in danger,” Texas Right to Life responded this week in an email.
The pro-life organization said the Biden administration is using the directive to allow unborn babies to be unnecessarily killed in abortions in pro-life states. And if hospitals refuse to comply, their participation in Medicare/Medicaid could be in jeopardy.
“Joe Biden is trying to weaponize our communities’ life-saving doctors and hospitals to push his abortion agenda,” said Texas Right to Life senior legislative associate Rebecca Parma. “We look forward to once again beating the Biden administration in court and saving lives.”
The pro-life laws in Texas and other states include clearly defined exceptions that allow abortions in the cases when a mother’s life is at risk. Because the pro-life movement cares about the lives of both mother and child and there are rare cases in which only the mother’s life can be saved, it supports such exceptions.
But these exceptions mean the Biden administration’s guidance is unnecessary. Undermining Texas’s life-saving efforts and expanding abortions appear to be the administration’s real goal.
“I will ensure that President Biden will be forced to comply with the Supreme Court’s important decision concerning abortion and I will not allow him to undermine and distort existing laws to fit his administration’s unlawful agenda,” Paxton said.
According to the lawsuit, the Biden administration is “weaponizing” the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act for its pro-abortion agenda, because the law does not allow the federal government to demand that medical workers abort unborn babies.
The guidance also places hospitals in an impossible situation in which, under Texas law, they could face criminal penalties for aborting an unborn baby or, under the Biden administration’s directive, risk being banned from Medicaid/Medicare if they do not, the lawsuit continues.
As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” — allowing states to ban abortions and protect unborn babies. The high court also ruled 6-3 uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions and to get rid of the false viability standard.
Chief Justice John Roberts technically voted for the judgment but, in his concurring opinion, disagreed with the reasoning and said he wanted to keep abortions legal but with a new standard.
Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th and Ohio became the 6th and Utah became the 7th and Oklahoma became the 8th and Alabama became the 9th. This week, Mississippi became the 10th and South Carolina became the 11th,Texas became the 12th with its pre-Roe law and Tennessee became the 13th.
Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia have old pro-life laws on the books but there is question about whether they are applicable and will be enforced.
Ultimately, as many as 26 states could immediately or quickly ban abortions and protect babies from certain death for the first time in nearly 50 years.
The 13 total states with trigger laws that would effectively ban all or most abortions are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.
Polls show Americans are pro-life on abortion and a new national poll shows 75% of Americans essentially agree with the Supreme Court overturning Roe.