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WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, the Supreme Court of the United States granted Idaho’s request to issue a stay of a district court’s decision, effectively allowing Idaho to enforce its abortion ban in cases that conflict with EMTALA, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act.

Because of this decision, Idaho’s strict abortion law can now prevent a hospital provider from providing an abortion to stabilize a patient experiencing a medical emergency in Idaho when EMTALA requires that care. In an extraordinary move, the Supreme Court also agreed to decide the case before the lower federal court of appeals had decided the case, with oral argument to occur in April 2024.
 

Statement from Planned Parenthood Federation of America President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson:

“The consequences of the Supreme Court allowing Idaho to enforce its abortion ban even when it conflicts with EMTALA will be dire. This case is about people getting emergency — and often lifesaving — care, and the lengths anti-abortion lawmakers are willing to go to ban abortion, even if it means people will be at grave risk of endangering their health or even dying.

“States like Idaho should not be allowed to ignore federal law or further aid in making pregnancy more dangerous.”

Statement from Planned Parenthood Great Northwest Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky CEO Rebecca Gibron:

“The fact of the matter is that either lawmakers are unaware of the impact the abortion ban in Idaho is having or they are willfully ignoring it – neither of those options are acceptable. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Idahoans deserve better care than this. For the health and livelihood of our patients, we will not sit and watch while people are continually put in grave danger during their pregnancy.” 

EMTALA, which has been law since 1986, requires that if a health care professional determines that a pregnant patient presenting at a hospital emergency department is experiencing an emergency medical condition, and that abortion is the stabilizing treatment necessary to resolve that condition, the physician must provide that treatment. The Biden administration’s 2022 guidance affirmed that a state’s abortion law is not enforceable if it prevents a hospital emergency department from providing abortions when required by EMTALA.

Read more about the lawsuit here.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.