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SCOTUS May Allow Emergency Abortions in Idaho

State of the Union: The court has yet to put out an official statement.
abortion protest outside scotus
Credit: Finnbarr Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

According to a report by Bloomberg News on Wednesday, the Supreme Court appears set to temporarily allow emergency abortions in Idaho when a woman’s health is at risk. This information was obtained after an opinion document was erroneously posted to the court’s website.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said in a statement, “The court’s publications unit inadvertently and briefly uploaded a document to the court’s website.” She continued, “The court’s opinion in Moyle v. United States and Idaho v. United States will be issued in due course.”

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The case addressed in the document centers on the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) of 1986, which requires hospitals that receive federal funding to assist patients in need of emergency care.

In 2022, the Biden administration sued Idaho, claiming that the state’s strict abortion ban conflicts with the aforementioned law. Idaho has implemented stringent restrictions on abortions, prohibiting nearly all procedures and enforcing penalties of up to five years’ imprisonment for doctors who perform them, except in cases where it is deemed essential to prevent the death of a pregnant woman.

If the decision were to be made official, hospitals in Idaho would be allowed to perform emergency abortions to stabilize patients without being subject to prosecution under Idaho’s abortion ban. 

The text shows the justices voting 6-3 with conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch in dissent.

This news comes as the court is rapidly approaching recess, with the EMTALA decision and several others not yet announced to the public.