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Supreme Court allows emergency abortions in Idaho for now

By 37ci3 Jun27,2024

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a ruling on whether Idaho’s strict abortion law conflicts with a federal law that requires stabilization care for emergency room patients, including pregnant women suffering from complications that may require an abortion.

The court rejected an appeal filed by Idaho officials, meaning a lower court ruling allowing doctors in the state to perform emergency abortions remains in place for now.

After Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling, the legal issue remains unresolved and has no effect in any other state. placed by accident copy online.

Protesters outside the Supreme Court on May 3, 2022. Alex Brandon / AP file

The court may consider this matter later.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who objected to the court’s failure to decide the case, read his dissenting opinion from the bench, a step judges generally take only when they are unhappy with the outcome.

“There is no compelling reason not to resolve this conflict now,” he wrote.

Conservative Justice Samuel Alito concurred in a dissenting opinion joined by Justice Clarence Thomas and, for the most part, Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Alito said he would rule against the Biden administration, which argued that federal law requires abortion when a woman suffers from various health complications that are not immediately life-threatening, despite Idaho’s strict ban.

“No one, respecting the statutory language here, can plausibly say that the government’s interpretation is unequivocally correct,” he wrote.

A five-justice bloc of conservative and liberal justices voted against settling the case.

Conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote that “the shape of these cases changed significantly” after the court agreed to hear two related appeals from the state and elected officials.

Liberal Justice Elena Kagan said Idaho’s arguments “never warranted our early consideration of this dispute.”

The legal question is important not only in Idaho, but also in other states that have passed similar bans, which abortion rights advocates say conflict with federal law because they do not include broad exemptions for the mother’s health.

But the court’s lack of a ruling means confusion remains over whether the federal law trumps state bans. Idaho will continue to appeal the lower state court’s decision.

If former President Donald Trump wins the election, the lawsuit could become more complicated because his administration could change its legal position and argue that federal law does not conflict with state abortion laws.

The federal government said several states would be affected if the court ruled in full, while abortion opponents said a victory by the Biden administration would affect the 22 states that impose abortion restrictions.

Idaho’s abortion ban went into effect in 2020 following the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. There is a provision stating that it would take effect if it overruled Wade.

Legislation known as the Protection of Life Act, entered into force Supreme Court in 2022 rolled back Roe.

Under Idaho law, anyone who performs an abortion is subject to criminal penalties, including up to five years in prison. Health professionals found in violation of the law may lose their professional licenses.

The federal government sued a federal judge in August 2022 to block the state’s enforcement of provisions related to medical care required under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA.

The 1986 law requires patients to receive appropriate emergency care. The Biden administration has argued that care should include abortions in certain situations where a woman’s health is at risk, even if death is imminent.

The government and abortion rights groups have cited women who break their water early in pregnancy, putting them at risk of sepsis or bleeding, as examples.

Federal law applies to health care providers who receive federal funding under the Medicare program.

Idaho law includes an exception if the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman, although the scope of the exception has been hotly contested in litigation.

Supreme Court in January is allowed Idaho, to enforce provisions when agreeing to hear oral arguments in case. Other provisions of the ban are already in force and are not affected by the court’s final decision.

U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill said the state’s actions put doctors in a “dilemma” by blocking parts of the state law that conflicted with federal law.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco briefly put Winmill’s decision on hold in September, but later allowed it to go into effect, prompting state officials to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The emergency room dispute is one of two abortion cases the Supreme Court has heard this term, both of which arose after the 2022 decision to overturn Roe. In another, the court refused Anti-abortion doctors call for the Food and Drug Administration to lift restrictions on mifepristone, the most widely used drug for medical abortions.

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By 37ci3

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