Texas sues Biden admin for requiring emergency healthcare providers to perform abortions

Texas law already allows abortions to save a mother's life

Updated: July 14, 2022 - 4:00pm

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Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for using the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) to "require hospitals to perform abortions."

"This administration has a hard time following the law, and now they are trying to have their appointed bureaucrats mandate that hospitals and emergency medicine physicians perform abortions," Paxton wrote in a press release.

"I will ensure that President Biden will be forced to comply with the Supreme Court’s important decision concerning abortion and I will not allow him to undermine and distort existing laws to fit his administration’s unlawful agenda," he stated.

The lawsuit comes after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reminded medical providers earlier this week that patients must be given abortions in medical emergencies.  

Texas law already allows abortions to be performed in order to save a mother's life, and Paxton notes so in his filing.

"No federal statute confers a right to abortion. EMTALA is no different. It does not guarantee access to abortion," Paxton argued.

The Biden administration's statute requires Medicare-participating hospitals, including those operated by Texas, to "provide abortions when the life of the mother is not in danger," Paxton stated.

Critics argue that the lawsuit will harm women if it succeeds. 

White House press secretary Jean Karine-Pierre responded by calling Paxton "yet another example of an extreme and radical Republican elected official."

She said it is "unthinkable that this public official would sue to block women from receiving life-saving care in emergency rooms, a right protected under U.S. law."

"Alternate Headline: Texas Sues for the Right to Kill Women," Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) tweeted with a link to an article about the case.

"Texas hates women so much that they now are suing the Biden Admin for wait for it… saving the lives of pregnant women. All so horrifying and more so every damn day," tweeted former Iowa Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer, who is running to unseat Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley.