Supreme Court gives Biden big abortion win in Idaho v United States

Supreme CourtIn a blow to a state’s right to regulate abortion, the Supreme Court decided with the Biden administration’s DOJ in Idaho v United States (which was combined with another case, Moyle v United States).

Said the Court in a decision written by Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, and Brown:

“An Idaho law prohibits abortions unless necessary to prevent a pregnant woman’s death; the law makes no exception for abortions necessary to prevent grave harms to the woman’s health, like the loss of her fertility.”

The Idaho state legislature passed a law banning most abortions, with exceptions for rape and life of the mother. It imposed criminal penalties on doctors and anyone who assisted with an abortion of up to 5 years in prison.

The Idaho law clashed with a federal law, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act [EMTALA], which compelled hospitals receiving Medicare funds to provide “necessary stabilizing treatment” in emergencies.

Justice Kagan wrote:

“EMTALA requires hospitals to provide abortions that Idaho’s law prohibits. When that is so, Idaho’s law is preempted. The Court’s ruling today follows from those premises. Federal law and Idaho law are in conflict about the treatment of pregnant women facing health emergencies.”

Justices Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch dissented. Alito wrote:

“Apparently, the Court has simply lost the will to decide the easy but emotional and highly politicized question that the case presents. That is regrettable. EMTALA obligates Medicare-funded hospitals to treat, not abort an ‘unborn child.’”