Appeals court prevents Biden from forcing emergency room doctors to perform abortions

An appeals court rejected the Biden administration's effort to use federal law to force emergency room doctors to perform abortions in Texas, upholding a lower court decision.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled unanimously Tuesday to pursue an injunction against the Biden administration's federal guidance requiring emergency room medical personnel to perform abortions.

Circuit Judge Kurt D. Englehardt, a Trump appointee, wrote the panel opinion, concluding that the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Jobs Act does not require hospitals to provide abortions.

“EMTALA does not control the practice of medicine,†Englehardt wrote. —While EMTALA directs doctors to stabilize patients after an emergency medical condition is diagnosed … the practice of medicine is controlled by the states.†.

—EMTALA does not mandate medical treatments, let alone abortion care, nor pre? The injunction directly requires HHS to enforce the Guidance and Letter on these two issues within the State of Texas and against the plaintiff organizations.

Chelsey Youman, national legislative counsel with the pro-life group Human Coalition Action, celebrated the decision in an email statement shared with The Christian Post.

“We are grateful that the court recognized the authority of states to protect human life and refused to classify abortion as a necessary health care,” said Youman. —Texas has led the way in protecting innocent human life, and we thank Attorney General Paxton for upholding the state's transformative pro-life laws.

Senior Attorney Rabia Muqaddam of the pro-choice group the Center for Reproductive Rights said in a statement to Time magazine that she believed the decision “shows complete disregard for the lives of pregnant people.”

EMTALA was passed in 1986 and focuses on “public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay,” requiring hospitals participating in Medicare to provide medical services to all people.

“Hospitals must then provide stabilization treatment for patients with EMCs. If a hospital is unable to stabilize a patient within its capacity, or if the patient requests, an appropriate transfer should be carried out,” explains EMTALA. information page

In July 2022, shortly after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wadethe US Department of Health and Human Services issued an advisory asserting that EMTALA required hospital emergency staff to provide abortions.

In response to the guidance, the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, being joined by the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations.

U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix in Lubbock granted a preliminary injunction against the guidance in August 2022, arguing in part that EMTALA “protects.” both mothers and unborn children, is silent on abortion, and overrides state law only when the two directly conflict.

—Since the statute is silent on the question, the Leadership cannot answer how doctors should weigh risks for both a mother and her unborn child. Nor can it, in doing so, create a conflict with state law where none exists,” he added.

—Texas law already overlaps with EMTALA to a significant degree, allowing abortions in life-threatening conditions and for the removal of an ectopic or aborted pregnancy.†  Â

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *