US Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Key Case on Emergency Care and Abortion

US Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Key Case on Emergency Care and Abortion

Washington, D.C. –Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the consolidated cases  Idaho v. United States and Moyle v. United States.  These cases center on an Idaho abortion ban and whether or not it conflicts with the requirements under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), a federal law that protects people with emergency medical conditions who need stabilizing treatment, including abortions. 

The federal government argues that the Idaho law violates EMTALA’s obligation to provide stabilizing care for patients in emergency situations, as it requires necessary treatment for cases of life endangerment and also those that present the threat of serious harm to their health. The Idaho law restricts the provision of abortion in emergency situations, as it criminalizes nearly all forms of abortion except those that are “necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant” person and cases of rape, incest, and ectopic pregnancies. The case challenges decades of established precedent and could worsen the ever-escalating abortion access crisis.

“EMTALA stands as a pillar of patient rights, ensuring all individuals receive essential emergency medical care, regardless of circumstance. For decades, NHeLP has championed its principles which safeguard individuals’ access to necessary, stabilizing treatment, including abortions. Idaho’s ban not only violates this longstanding law but also endangers lives by denying stabilizing care to those in urgent need. If the Court upholds Idaho’s law, we will see EMTALA undermined in states across the country. The United States continues to face a maternal morbidity and mortality crisis, and so EMTALA remains more vital than ever by providing access to critical support to pregnant people in medical emergencies,” said Cat Duffy, Policy Analyst at the National Health Law Program. 

Reporters covering the issue should also review an amicus brief submitted to the Court by advocates for disability rights led by Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) and signed by the National Health Law Program.

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