On Thursday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s Department of Health and Human Services over their decision to use the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) to force hospitals to perform abortions.
“The Biden Administration’s response to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., 142 S. Ct. 2228 (2022), which ended the terrible regime of Roe v. Wade, is to attempt to use federal law to transform every emergency room in the country into a walk-in abortion clinic,” the lawsuit states. “President Biden is flagrantly disregarding the legislative and democratic process—and flouting the Supreme Court’s ruling before the ink is dry—by having his appointed bureaucrats mandate that hospitals and emergency medicine physicians must perform abortions. But Defendants’ Abortion Mandate forces hospitals and doctors to commit crimes and risk their licensure under Texas law. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) that Defendants cite as the basis for their Abortion Mandate does not authorize—and has never authorized—the federal government to compel healthcare providers to perform abortions. Defendants’ Abortion Mandate is unlawful and must be set aside.”
“No federal statute confers a right to abortion. EMTALA is no different. It does not guarantee access to abortion. On the contrary, EMTALA contemplates that an emergency medical condition is one that threatens the life of the unborn child,” the lawsuit concludes. “It is obvious that abortion does not preserve the life or health of an unborn child.”
“This administration has a hard time following the law, and now they are trying to have their appointed bureaucrats mandate that hospitals and emergency medicine physicians perform abortions,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “I will ensure that President Biden will be forced to comply with the Supreme Court’s important decision concerning abortion and I will not allow him to undermine and distort existing laws to fit his administration’s unlawful agenda.”
In response to the lawsuit, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement saying, “This is yet another example of an extreme and radical Republican elected official. It is unthinkable that this public official would sue to block women from receiving life-saving care in emergency rooms, a right protected under U.S. law.”
It should be noted that the Texas ban on abortion allows exceptions in cases to save the life of the mother or to prevent “substantial impairment of major bodily function.”
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