Health · August 2, 2022

US Attorney General Merrick Garland briefs the press on the DOJ’s lawsuit challenging Idaho’s abortion law

(Attorney General Merrick Garland is scheduled to speak at 1:30 p.m. ET. Please refresh the page if the above video is not playing at that time.)

The US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block Idaho’s new restrictive abortion law, saying it violates federal laws that require most hospitals to provide patients with medically necessary treatments before discharge.

Attorney General Merrick Garland held a news conference Tuesday detailing the lawsuit.

It is the first Justice Department lawsuit challenging a state’s new abortion restrictions, passed after the Supreme Court’s June ruling that said there is no constitutional right to abortion.

That ruling overturned the 49-year-old Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, who established women’s national right to abortion.

The lawsuit, filed in Idaho federal court, finds that the state “enacted a near-absolute ban on abortion” that will make it a criminal offense to perform an abortion “in all but the extremely restrictive circumstances” when it comes into effect on August 25.

Garland said the ban conflicts with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which requires a hospital accepting Medicare funds to provide treatment in its emergency rooms to stabilize a patient needed to stabilize their medical condition before the patient is transferred or discharged.

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