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Supreme Court Delivers Another Major Win for Pro-Lifers

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed Idaho to enforce its strict abortion ban, even in medical emergencies, while a legal fight continues.

The justices said they would hear arguments in April and put on hold a lower court ruling that had blocked the Idaho law in hospital emergencies, based on a lawsuit filed by the Biden administration.

Hospitals that receive Medicare funds are required by federal law to provide emergency care, potentially including abortion, regardless if there’s a state law banning abortion, the administration argued.

The legal fight followed the court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to severely restrict or ban abortion. The Biden administration issued guidance about the law, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA, two weeks after the high court’s ruling in 2022.

The Democratic administration sued Idaho a month later.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in Idaho agreed with the administration. But in a separate case in Texas, a judge sided with the state.

Idaho makes it a crime with a prison term of up to five years for anyone who performs or assists in an abortion.

The administration argues that EMTALA requires health care providers to perform abortions for emergency room patients when needed to treat an emergency medical condition, even if doing so might conflict with a state’s abortion restrictions.

Those conditions include severe bleeding, pre-eclampsia and certain pregnancy-related infections.

“For certain medical emergencies, abortion care is the necessary stabilizing treatment,” Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote in an administration filing at the Supreme Court.

The state argued that the administration was misusing a law intended to prevent hospitals from dumping patients and imposing “a federal abortion mandate” on states.

“EMTALA says nothing about abortion,” Idaho Attorney General Raul Labrador told the court in a brief.

Just Tuesday, the federal appeals court in New Orleans came to the same conclusion as Labrador. A three-judge panel ruled that the administration cannot use EMTALA to require hospitals in Texas to provide abortions for women whose lives are at risk due to pregnancy.

Two of the three judges are appointees of former President Donald Trump, and the other was appointed by another Republican president, George W. Bush.

The appeals court affirmed a ruling by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix, also a Trump appointee. Hendrix wrote that adopting the Biden administration’s view would force physicians to place the health of the pregnant woman over that of the fetus or embryo even though EMTALA “is silent as to abortion.”

After Winmill, an appointee of former Democratic President Bill Clinton, issued his ruling, Idaho lawmakers won an order allowing the law to be fully enforced from an all-Republican, Trump-appointed panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But a larger contingent of 9th Circuit judges threw out the panel’s ruling and had set arguments in the case for late January.

The justices’ order on Friday takes the case away from the appeals court. A decision is expected by early summer.

READ 7 COMMENTS
  • Concerned Patriot says:

    Thank God we have a Supreme Court that stands up for what is right. They have a lot of evil to clean up in this country.

  • Crystal Griffith RN says:

    I think that the pendulum may have swung too far. I oppose abortion in general but also am experienced enough to know that there are times when you will have a dead fetus AND a dead Mom if an abortion is not done. Placenta abruptio, severe pre-eclampsia and other acute situations. My thought is rather than have 2 dead bodies, sacrifice the fetus and keep the Mom alive. She can usually have more pregnancies if desired. I worked in a Catholic hospital early in my career in 1971. I cared for a young woman who was scheduled for an abortion early in the pregnancy. The Mom had multiple medical problems that would kill her if she tried to carry a pregnancy to term. One of these problems was cardiac, if I remember correctly which is why she was in ICU for monitoring.
    If there is a true emergency, the medical care rendered should be up to the physicians, not lawyers and judges and laws that cannot cover every possibility.

    • H says:

      I just got one question’ Why would a woman subject her body to pregnancy with known health issues in the first place. I do agree, if a woman has a planned pregnancy and something terribly goes wrong with the fetus yes abort. But find out if it was drug induced. That’s what the problem is. A lot of women do drugs while pregnant. They should be drug screened and not hide drug induced abortion.Life is life no matter. You do not do drugs, or you do not take on pregnancy knowing you have health issues, or drug issues. Simple as that. These issues are being swept under the rug. And if proven by law a rape occurred then that sets precedent for abortion, if the baby is proven unhealthy and could kill the mother. I’m not against abortion in whole. It is a slippery slope.

      • Better get ready says:

        Rape and incest should go into that law also. Why put some woman through this when not their fault? Put time limit on this.

      • Cindy says:

        H, Unfortunately here are such things as accidents and unintended pregnancies even when using precautions when you have health issues that can cause the Mom severe health issues. I’m pro life, but sometimes God has to make the choice available.

  • Kat says:

    This article is negligent in going into the details of the Idaho law, which does provide exceptions. It is not a 100% ban. Very disappointed that this outlet refused to do the hard work, and explain to readers what the law actually says. Consequently, you are mal-forming people’s opinions. Shame on reporter and editor. Lazy.

  • John Gault says:

    I also think there are rare cases when abortion is necessary and can save the life of a mother. What I would like to see banned is abortion on demand. The majority of abortions, somewhere around 95%, are nothing more than retroactive birth control simply for the convenience of the “parents”.

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