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Federal judges issue conflicting rulings on emergency abortions when health of mothers is at risk

August 25, 2022


Federal judges in Idaho and Texas have issued conflicting decisions on whether a federal law requiring stabilizing emergency care conflicts with abortion bans.

The federal law at issue is the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. The law, known as the EMTALA, requires hospitals that receive federal Medicare funds to provide necessary stabilizing treatment to arriving emergency room patients with medical conditions that pose a risk to their lives, put their health in serious jeopardy, or create a risk of serious impairment.

The judges in both cases considered state abortion bans that have exceptions to prevent the death of the mother but not to protect the health of the mother.

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