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Idaho asks Supreme Court to stop federal government from using ERs as 'enclave' for abortions

Idaho's law bans abortions, with few exceptions for rape, incest or threat to a mother's life. 

Published: November 28, 2023 7:52am

Updated: November 28, 2023 7:55am

Idaho is asking the Supreme Court to intervene and allow the state to enforce its pro-life law despite the Biden Administration's efforts to block it by allowing abortions in emergency rooms, according to court documents.

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act is meant to ensure that all patients who request emergency room treatment are examined, but Idaho argued in its court filing Monday that the law turns "protection for the uninsured into a federal super-statute on the issue of abortion, one that strips Idaho of its sovereign interest in protecting innocent human life and turns emergency rooms into a federal enclave where state standards of care do not apply."

After the Supreme Court overruled the landmark 1973 abortion case Roe v. Wade last year, Idaho passed a law banning abortions, with few exceptions for rape, incest or threat to a mother's life. 

The federal government sued Idaho, citing the Emergency Medical Treatment act, and argued that the law "creates a federal right to abortion in emergency rooms, even though [the law] is silent on abortion and actually requires stabilizing treatment for the unborn children of pregnant women," Idaho's filing states.

The federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the federal government, blocking the law from taking effect and sparking Idaho's appeal.

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