WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court Friday halted a lower court ruling that allowed the Biden administration to misuse the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act to force emergency room doctors to perform abortions in violation of Idaho’s Defense of Life Act. Idaho’s law puts the lives of women and their unborn children first, preventing physicians from ending an unborn child’s life unless doing so is necessary to save the life of the mother. The stay issued in State of Idaho v. United States of America will remain in effect until the high court decides the case later this year, allowing Idaho to continue to protect the lives of women and their children as the litigation continues.
The court’s actions come in response to a request by the Office of the Attorney General of Idaho, with the assistance of attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom and Cooper & Kirk, to prevent the Biden administration from misusing federal law to force Idaho emergency room doctors to deny life-saving care to vulnerable patients.
“We are very pleased and encouraged by the Supreme Court’s decision. The federal government has been wrong from day one. Federal law does not preempt Idaho’s Defense of Life Act. In fact, EMTALA and Idaho’s law share the same goal: to save the lives of all women and their unborn children,” said Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador. “My Office of Solicitor General—together with the experienced and highly-respected Supreme Court advocacy firms I’ve selected to assist us—looks forward to representing the people of Idaho before the Supreme Court. The administration’s lawless attempt to override Idaho’s decision to preserve all our citizens’ lives must be stopped.”
“Women and unborn children deserve to know that emergency room doctors will do everything possible to preserve their lives. This includes treating women experiencing ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, and other life-threatening conditions,” said ADF Senior Counsel Erin Hawley, vice president of the ADF Center for Life and Regulatory Practice. “The government has no business forcing emergency room physicians to violate their duty to provide life-saving care to all, including unborn children. We are proud to serve alongside the state of Idaho to ensure doctors can freely and safely serve women and their families.”
“The district court’s preliminary injunction was wrong about the scope of EMTALA and when a federal law preempts a state law,” said Chuck Cooper, chairman and founding partner of Cooper & Kirk. “Idaho’s position has already been supported by two appellate three-judge panels, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s stay is consistent with Idaho’s view. We look forward to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the merits of the case later this year.”
In a friend-of-the court brief, 20 states united in support of Idaho’s efforts to preserve life-saving care for women and children from federal government overreach.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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