Justice sues Idaho over six-week abortion ban

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging the state of Idaho’s six-week abortion ban.

The department argued that Idaho’s law conflicts with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), a law that requires providers to offer medically stabilizing treatment in an emergency, even if that care is an abortion. 

The Idaho law takes effect on Aug. 25. The Justice Department said the law would make it a criminal offense for doctors to comply with EMTALA’s requirement to provide stabilizing treatment, even when a doctor determines that abortion is the medical treatment necessary to prevent a patient from suffering severe health risks or even death.

“On the day Roe and Casey were overturned, we promised that the Justice Department would work tirelessly to protect and advance reproductive freedom,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said during a press briefing on Tuesday announcing the suit, in reference to to Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which were overturned by the Supreme Court in June. 

“That is what we are doing, and that is what we will continue to do,” Garland added. “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.”