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Attorney General Stein Files Brief In Support Of Protecting Emergency Abortion Care

SourcePress Release

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed a friend-of-the-court brief along with a coalition of 24 other attorneys general at the end of March, imploring the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a ruling that requires Idaho hospitals to provide emergency abortion care. 

“If a woman’s life or health is at risk, it’s imperative that she get the emergency medical care she needs,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Abortion care is medical care, and hospitals must continue to provide it.”

Under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), to which every U.S. hospital with an emergency department that participates in Medicare is subject, emergency rooms are required to provide all patients with the treatment they need to stabilize their condition, including abortion care. This puts it in conflict with Idaho’s new state law that bans abortions in nearly all cases, medical emergencies included. 

The Biden administration has sued to stop enforcement of the Idaho law, saying that state law cannot interfere with the federal EMTALA. In their brief, Stein and the other attorneys general support the argument that abortion care has always been protected under EMTALA. That is, Idaho residents and visitors should be able to get abortion care in emergencies regardless of the state’s abortion ban.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the consolidated cases Idaho v. United States and Moyle v. United States for which the brief was filed on April 24, with a decision expected in June 2024. 

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