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US supreme court ruling allows abortions in Idaho for medical emergencies

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The US supreme court issued a ruling on Thursday that allows abortions to proceed in the state of Idaho when pregnant women are experiencing medical emergencies.
The 6-3 decision, with three conservative justices dissenting, temporarily reinstated a lower court’s ruling that Idaho’s near-total abortion ban, which is backed by Republicans, must give way to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) of 1986 when the two laws are in conflict.
The Biden administration had filed a lawsuit against Idaho, contending that EMTALA supersedes state law. EMTALA ensures that patients at hospitals receiving Medicare funding can receive emergency care. Idaho is one of six states with abortion bans that do not include exceptions to safeguard the health of pregnant women.
US President Joe Biden praised the decision, stating, “Today’s supreme court order ensures that women in Idaho can access the emergency medical care they need while this case returns to the lower courts.”
“No woman should be denied care, made to wait until she’s near death, or forced to flee her home state just to receive the health care she needs. This should never happen in America… Yet, this is exactly what is happening in states across the country since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade,” Biden added, referring to the 2022 decision that reversed the 1973 precedent that had recognized a constitutional right to abortion.
However, the supreme court’s decision, which was accidentally posted on the court’s website on Wednesday, did not resolve the underlying legal dispute. Instead, the court chose to dismiss the case as “improvidently granted.”
Liberal justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, in a separate opinion, agreed with the decision to lift the stay but argued that the case should not have been dismissed, describing the legal situation as a “fragile detente.” “This court had a chance to bring clarity and certainty to this tragic situation, and we have squandered it,” Jackson wrote.
Idaho’s abortion “trigger” law, which was passed in 2020, took effect automatically when Roe was overturned. The law prohibited nearly all abortions, with an exception only to save the mother’s life, and imposed severe penalties on doctors who violate it.
However, EMTALA requires Medicare-funded hospitals to “stabilize” patients with emergency medical conditions, which may necessitate an abortion to prevent serious health risks or organ damage.





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