US District Judge Blocks Medieval Total Abortion Ban

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Trigger abortion laws are already in place after Supreme Court justices lied about respecting set law (stare decisis) and overturned Roe v. Wade. The justices were eager to ban abortion, and states crisscrossing the nation were, too. Most of those states are in the sunbelt, but Idaho is also set to ban abortion with no exceptions — at all. Fortunately, a federal judge offered a little common sense.

US District Judge B. Lynn Winmill honored a Department of Justice (DOJ) ask that gave the state’s women and girls some minimal relief by placing a temporary injunction on portions of the medieval law. Even so, the Idaho judge’s ruling just meant the state law would have to follow just the narrowest abortion exception. To save the life of the patient.

Of course, what does preventing the death of the women and girls look like? Many emergency rooms have had to call attorneys in to define it. And a number of doctors have been forced to wait until the woman or girl is near death before acting. Hopefully, the physicians will be able to bring her back.

Judge Winmill wrote that the ban must not go further than federal standards for emergency care in a preliminary injunction, according to CNN:

‘This Court is not grappling with the larger questions about a right to an abortion. . Rather, the Court is called upon to address a far more modest issue — whether Idaho’s criminal abortion statute conflicts with a small but important corner of federal legislation. It does.’

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s office could only point to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). It stated that emergency care must meet set requirements for physicians in certain circumstances. The DOJ will likely win its case that Idaho’s ban “criminalized abortion care that physicians are obligated to offer in medical emergencies under EMTALA:”

‘In short, given the extraordinarily broad scope of Idaho Code § 18-622, neither the State nor the Legislature have convinced the Court that it is possible for healthcare workers to simultaneously comply with their obligations under EMTALA and Idaho statutory law. The state law must therefore yield to federal law to the extent of that conflict.’

Physicians who do not meet EMTALA law guidelines could easily be criminally charged. This exception allows doctors a defense:

‘When an abortion is the necessary stabilizing treatment, EMTALA directs physicians to provide that care if they reasonably expect the patient’s condition will result in serious impairment to bodily functions, serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part, or serious jeopardy to the patient’s health.

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‘In contrast, the criminal abortion statute admits to no such exception. It only justifies abortions that the treating physician determines are necessary to prevent the patient’s death.’

Attorney General Merrick Garland hands have been tied otherwise. The DOJ released this statement:

‘Today’s decision by the District Court for the District of Idaho ensures that women in the State of Idaho can obtain the emergency medical treatment to which they are entitled under federal law. This includes abortion when that is the necessary treatment.’

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A Texas federal judge has ruled against the Biden administration’s reading of EMTALA.  There was no word whether Idaho’s attorney general would fight the DOJ.


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