Idaho had already enacted trigger laws if Roe v. Wade were overturned. Idaho’s ban on abortion was enforced, and its laws were further refined as a result of the Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court decision in 2022. This ruling shifted abortion restrictions out of federal jurisdiction into state legislators’ control.
Idaho has narrowed the exceptions in 2023 to only include specific medical situations. This is pending the outcome of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Idaho. The lawsuit claims that the trigger ban violates the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.
The Biden administration filed a lawsuit against Idaho for violating EMTALA. The United States District Court ruled in favor of the Biden administration. Raul Labrador filed an appeal, claiming that the Biden Administration misused the law, which was meant to stop hospitals from dumping their patients, and created a federal mandate on abortion for the states.
On Tuesday, the federal appeals court in New Orleans came to the same conclusion as Labrador. According to a three-judge panel, the government can’t use EMTALA to force Texas hospitals to provide abortions for women whose lives are at risk due to pregnancy.
Arguments will be held in April.
The Supreme Court freezes a decision that legalized emergency abortions in Idaho when necessary to “stabilize” a patient. The court will decide whether federal law requires hospitals to provide such care, or whether states can ban it. https://t.co/QFE2D3WFpP pic.twitter.com/lzHIBT3Buz
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) January 5, 2024
While the legal battle continues, Idaho’s Supreme Court has allowed it to enforce an abortion ban in emergency medical situations.
Idaho criminalizes abortion and can impose up to five years of prison on those who assist or commit an abortion.
However, the administration argues that EMTALA requires healthcare providers to perform abortions on patients in emergency rooms if it is necessary to treat a medical emergency. It is still true, even if state restrictions on abortion are in place. This includes severe hemorrhaging and preeclampsia.
SCOTUS will render its decision in the summer, after hearing oral arguments in April.