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Biden, top aides praise Idaho abortion ruling

President Biden and top administration officials welcomed a Supreme Court ruling that will require Idaho hospitals that receive federal funding to provide emergency abortions while the case is being litigated, even as the president and his campaign warned of broader efforts by Republicans to restrict the procedure.

The court ruled 6-3 on Thursday to dismiss the case, which means doctors in Idaho will be able to perform emergency abortions despite state-level restrictions in the interim. Conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented.

In a rare step, Attorney General Merrick Garland weighed in on the ruling and outlined the reason the Justice Department brought the case.

“Today’s order means that, while we continue to litigate our case, women in Idaho will once again have access to the emergency care guaranteed to them under federal law,” Garland said in a statement. “The Justice Department will continue to use every available tool to ensure that women in every state have access to that care.”

Garland added that under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA, Americans are guaranteed essential emergency care, including in situations where a pregnancy is jeopardizing a patient’s life or health.

The ruling marked a temporary victory for the Biden administration, which has struggled to protect access to abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade two years ago. But dismissing the appeal from Idaho won’t resolve the legal questions and will merely send the case back to an appeals court instead of rushing it through to the highest level.

Biden, Vice President Harris and their reelection campaign quickly sought to tie the ruling to their broader arguments that former President Trump and Republicans are leading the push to enact restrictive abortion bans that would limit women’s ability to get reproductive health care.

“No woman should be denied care, made to wait until she’s near death, or forced to flee her home state just to receive the health care she needs,” Biden said in a statement. “This should never happen in America. Yet, this is exactly what is happening in states across the country since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.”

Biden also argued “the stakes could not be higher and the contrast could not be clearer” between his administration’s efforts to protect reproductive health care and Republicans’ opposition to protecting contraception and in vitro fertilization treatment.

Harris in a statement blamed the state of abortion access in the country directly on Trump, who has taken credit for ending Roe v. Wade through his appointment of three conservative Supreme Court justices.

“This ruling does not change the fact that women across the country are being turned away from emergency rooms and denied needed reproductive care because of Donald Trump’s abortion bans,” Harris said in a statement through the Biden campaign.

“Ultimately, one thing is certain: The only way to stop Trump’s relentless attacks on Americans’ fundamental freedoms is at the ballot box this November,” she added.

Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, has said abortion should be left up to individual states to handle either through legislation or referendums. He has called it a “beautiful thing to watch” as a patchwork of abortion restrictions are enacted, with some states putting in place near-total bans on the procedure.

Biden’s reelection campaign published an ad shortly after the Supreme Court ruling on Thursday featuring Dr. Lauren Miller, who fled Idaho after the state’s abortion ban was put in place.

The one-minute ad, entitled “At 2 AM,” is narrated by Miller, a high-risk obstetrician. Idaho’s near-total abortion ban also includes penalties for doctors.

The Biden campaign is also set to air another ad focused on abortion during the first presidential debate against Trump on Thursday night, a source familiar with the planning told The Hill.


Source: The Hill

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