‘Lawless Overreach’: SCOTUS Blocks Biden’s Attempt to Overrule Idaho Pro-Life Laws
It’s the start of 2024, and the Biden administration is beginning the new year the same way it ended the last one: with strong opposition to states’ pro-life laws.
Idaho’s Defense of Life Act makes it a crime for an abortionist to kill an unborn child unless it’s necessary to save the life of the mother. Any violators of this law could face the maximum penalty of five years in prison and may have their medical license suspended with the first offense. Additionally, the “Idaho law does not consider removal of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy as elective abortion,” Breitbart reported.
The Biden administration has challenged Idaho’s law by claiming in a statement that it “denies women critical emergency abortion care required by federal law.” According to the White House, “The overturning of Roe v. Wade has enabled Republican elected officials to pursue dangerous abortion bans” such as “Idaho’s extreme abortion ban.” Biden and his team used the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) of 1986 to sue the state of Idaho under the argument that EMTALA federally protects abortion, particularly in the ER.”
In an emergency application to the high court, Idaho stated “EMTALA does not even mention abortion” and suggested that “it would be odd” for Congress to tuck “authority to negate the enforcement of state abortion laws in a relatively obscure provision of the Medicare Act.”
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, Idaho v. United States, in April. Until then, the Supreme Court has allowed Idaho’s pro-life law to stay in affect. This decision, authored by Judge Kurt Engelhardt, stated, “EMTALA does not mandate any specific type of medical treatment, let alone abortion.” The report continued, “The question before the court is whether EMTALA, according to HHS’s Guidance, mandates physicians to provide abortions when that is the necessary stabilizing treatment for an emergency medical condition. It does not.”
Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador (R) released a statement in response to the SCOTUS decision which read, “Today, the Supreme Court’s decision is a big step in stopping the administration’s lawless overreach. The people of Idaho have spoken with clarity on the issue of life.” Additionally, Erin Hawley, Alliance Defending Freedom’s senior council and vice president of the Center for Life and Regulatory Practice, insisted, “The government has no business forcing doctors to harm their patients or violate their duty to provide life-saving care to all, including unborn children. We are proud to serve alongside the state of Idaho to ensure emergency room doctors can freely and safely serve women and their families.”
Not surprisingly, the pro-abortion White House also released a statement with a less than celebratory tone.
They argued that the Idaho law “forces” doctors and women to leave Idaho in order to obtain access to abortion and classified abortion as “the health care [women] need.” According to the Biden administration, restriction to abortion “should never happen in America.”
In response to Friday’s decision, Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, said, “The Supreme Court decision states the obvious: Abortion doesn’t stabilize anyone,” She continued, “Intentionally killing an innocent human being isn’t health care. It’s not emergency medicine. It is murder.”
Szoch concluded, “I look forward to SCOTUS definitively settling that forcing physicians to commit abortions is criminal.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.