On Tuesday, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its first lawsuit against a state in the aftermath of the historic Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
According to CNN, the DOJ’s lawsuit against Idaho targets the state’s comprehensive ban on almost all abortions, which became legal after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which returned the issue of abortion back to the individual states to be decided. The DOJ has claimed, without evidence, that the ban would prevent some patients from receiving “life-saving treatment.”
“In the days since the Dobbs decision, there have been widespread reports of delays or denials to pregnant women experiencing medical emergencies,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a news conference. “We will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that pregnant women get the medical care that they are entitled to.”
Idaho’s law is one of many “trigger laws” that was passed prior to the Dobbs decision, under the assumption that Roe would eventually be overturned; the law was designed to automatically take effect when and if Roe was struck down, as it was in June of this year. As such, the state’s ban is set to be officially implemented on August 25th.
The DOJ is filing its suit under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which says that hospitals and other medical facilities that receive funding from Medicare “must provide medical treatment necessary to stabilize that condition before transferring or discharging the patient.”
In response, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden denounced the DOJ’s actions as “a politically motivated lawsuit.”
A separate suit has already been filed against the state by a coalition of pro-abortion activists, who claim that the law is so ambiguous that providers will be unsure as to whether or not they can provide care for women who suffer miscarriages, among other instances. That lawsuit will go before the state Supreme Court on Wednesday.