US Justice Department sues Idaho over abortion ban

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The DOJ announced the lawsuit on Tuesday, saying the state’s ban would prevent doctors from providing medical treatment.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has sued Idaho over the state’s near-total ban on abortion, saying the stringent ban denies pregnant women potentially life-saving medical care, and therefore “directly conflicts” with federal law.

The DOJ announced the lawsuit on Tuesday and claimed in a press release that the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) takes priority over Idaho’s abortion ban in cases where abortion could help stabilize an emergency medical condition. The EMTALA requires hospitals that receive federal funds to provide people with “necessary stabilizing treatments” during a medical emergency.

“We will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that pregnant women get the emergency medical treatment to which they are entitled under federal law,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement. “And we will closely scrutinize state abortion laws to ensure that they comply with federal law.”

The lawsuit is the latest part of an ongoing and contentious battle to shape the legal and political landscape around abortion rights in the United States. In June, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, the 1973 decision that had previously guaranteed the constitutional right to an abortion.

After the decision, a number of Republican states moved swiftly to impose new restrictions and outright bans, and pro-abortion rights groups have contested those laws in court.

Agencies

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