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Hastings Center Report

U.S. Lawsuit Claims Federal Law Can Require Emergency Abortions

Abstract: In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overruling of Roe vs. Wade, states are passing very strict antiabortion laws that the Biden administration is arguing violate the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) because those state laws do not permit emergency life-saving abortions that federal law says must be available to patients. The Biden administration has filed suit against Idaho to have portions of its state law invalidated, and Texas has filed suit against the Biden administration, arguing that its interpretation of EMTALA as requiring that abortions be available to patients in some emergency circumstances amounts to an unconstitutional overreach by the federal government. These suits, and others related to them, may redefine health-related federalism in the United States.

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