U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announces enforcement actions against Russia, during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, U.S., April 6, 2022.
Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters
The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block Idaho’s new restrictive abortion law on the grounds that it violates federal law requiring most hospitals to give medically necessary treatment to patients before discharging them.
It is the first Justice Department lawsuit to target a state’s new abortion restrictions adopted on the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling in June, which said there is not a federal constitutional right to abortion.
That ruling reversed the Supreme Court’s 49-year-old decision in Roe v. Wade, which established the nationwide right of women to terminate their pregnancies.
Attorney General Merrick Garland held a news conference detailing the lawsuit.
The suit filed in Idaho federal court notes that the state “has passed a near-absolute ban on abortion,” which after taking effect Aug. 25 will make it a criminal offense to perform an abortion “in all but extremely narrow circumstances.”
Garland said the ban conflicts with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which requires a hospital that accepts Medicare funds to provide treatment at their emergency departments to stabilize a patient necessary to stabilize their medical condition before transferring or discharging the patient.
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