The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against the state of Idaho for its law banning abortion – marking the first suit of its kind — and if it succeeds in striking down the ban, several other states could see similar attempts by the federal government to hit back after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The lawsuit comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s highly controversial Dobbs decision which returned the decision of abortion back to state legislatures.
As red states restrict infanticide access, blue states continue working to expand access and collaborate with liberal companies to provide out-of-state individuals with the resources to obtain abortion procedures.
Idaho’s law targets physicians who perform abortions and gives them the ability to defend themselves if they are accused of performing an abortion that’s not in accordance with the law.
The DOJ argued the Idaho law violates the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) by preventing federally funded hospitals from administering stabilizing treatment to patients with emergency medical conditions.
The Idaho law specifically addresses emergency cases:
The abortion was performed or attempted by a physician as defined in this chapter;
(ii) The physician determined, in his good faith medical judgment and based on the facts known to the physician at the time, that the abortion was necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman. No abortion shall be deemed necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman because the physician believes that the woman may or will take action to harm herself
The law also allows for abortion in the case of rape, if the rape was reported to a law enforcement agency. In the case of a minor, a report to child protective services is also accepted. A copy of the report must be provided to the administering physician, however.
For the DOJ to succeed, its legal team with have to prove Idaho’s exceptions to the law present a legitimate violation of the EMTALA. The DOJ likely chose the Idaho abortion ban because it is among the most stringent red state laws criminalizing the procedure — and would be easiest political target.
A court victory for the DOJ could spell a major setback pro-life movement — and unborn children — because of an supposed conflict with federal law.
The country continues to wait in anticipation to see how its courts, and its lawmakers, respond to this chaotic new normal of escalatory politics.