The Supreme Court is preparing to address a major abortion case from Idaho, with the Department of Justice arguing that the state’s law interferes with federal regulations requiring hospitals to provide emergency care, including abortions.
Legal and policy experts anticipate the Court’s involvement and highlight conflicting interpretations between federal and state laws.
The evolving legal landscape and potential conflicts with other circuit court decisions suggest a significant and contentious ruling ahead, with implications similar to the recent Dobbs decision. (Trending: US State Unveils Controversial ‘Gender Neutral’ Laws)
“This is something that the Supreme Court is likely going to need to consider,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Erin Hawley said.
“It’s certainly possible that the [Supreme Court] would take this case on the merits because there is an important question of how the state law interacts with the federal law,” Katie Daniel, state policy director for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, stated.
“In some circumstances, medical care that a state may characterize as an ‘abortion’ is necessary emergency stabilizing care that hospitals are required to provide under EMTALA,” the lawsuit reads.
“Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, ectopic pregnancy, severe preeclampsia, or a pregnancy complication threatening septic infection or hemorrhage.
“Not until after the Dobbs decision did the Biden administration stage a stand and say that [EMTALA], which was originally about hospital access, was actually about abortion,” Marc Wheat, general counsel for Advancing American Freedom said.
“There’s a whole range of efforts across the Biden administration to try to push abortion wherever they can and here, the issue was whether an Idaho law can stand while they are fighting out this case in the courts.”
“There was not a conflict, but to the extent they’re saying that there was a conflict before, there certainly isn’t one now,” Daniel said.
“And no doctor should feel like there’s any issue here, they’re able to perform life-saving care under our law, and in fact, they need to be treating patients both mother and child as long as that is possible.”
“Something unusual happened and a panel of the Ninth Circuit vacated that decision and went back and enjoined the law again without any reasoning,” Hawley said.
“So Alliance Defending Freedom and the state of Idaho, are arguing that it was improper for the Ninth Circuit to overturn its own panel, without any reasoning, as a law should be able to continue into effect while the litigation proceeds at the district court.”
“There’s a companion case currently taking place in the Texas Court of Appeals in the Fifth Circuit, so they will be coming out with a decision on whether the Biden administration’s interpretation of EMTALA is correct,” Hawley said.
“That interpretation could potentially be in conflict with the Ninth Circuit’s interpretation, and if that happens, that would be sort of a prime reason that the United States Supreme Court would need to step in and determine whether the Biden administration’s guidance here is lawful.”
“I think the Biden administration will work to try to knock down protections for unborn children wherever they can find them. … It’s a really cynical strategy and I’m very disappointed with career lawyers who are pushing this, but they’re just doing the bidding of the politicals out of the White House,” Wheat stated.