Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta Delivers Remarks to Announce Actions to Protect Reproductive Rights | takeover bid

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Thank you, Attorney General Garland.

The complaint alleges that Idaho law runs counter to EMTALA because it allegedly criminalizes all abortions, making it a felony for doctors to provide emergency treatment required by federal law, even when denial of care is likely to result in death. death of the pregnant patient. Idaho law outright prohibits abortion even when medically necessary to protect the patient’s health, such as when women experience incomplete miscarriage or severe preeclampsia.

Specifically, the Idaho law, which takes effect Aug. 25, places the burden on physicians to prove, at trial, after arrest and indictment, that they are not criminally responsible. Doctors can only do so if they prove that the abortion they performed was necessary for one of two reasons: to prevent the death of a pregnant woman, or in response to a case of rape or incest that was previously reported to the police, or, in the case of a minor, to Child Protective Services. Physicians who fail to meet this charge face prison sentences of two to five years and the revocation of their medical license. And the law does not provide any defense when it comes to the health of the pregnant patient.

Additionally, under Idaho law, healthcare professionals such as nurses and lab technicians face license suspension and potentially revocation even for assisting with abortions.

Thus, the law places medical professionals in an impossible situation: they must deny EMTALA-required stabilizing treatment or risk felony prosecution and license revocation. In doing so, the law will chill providers’ willingness to perform emergency abortions and harm patients by blocking access to necessary medical care.

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Therefore, the United States seeks a declaratory judgment that the Idaho law violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution and is overridden by federal law when it conflicts with EMTALA. The United States is also seeking a declaratory ruling that Idaho cannot punish medical providers for performing an abortion authorized under federal law. And we seek an injunction prohibiting Idaho’s enforcement of this law to the extent that it conflicts with and prevents physicians from providing emergency treatment required by federal law.

In the wake of dobbsThe Department of Justice established the Reproductive Rights Task Force to formalize our ongoing work to protect reproductive freedom.

A critical focus of the Task Force has been to assess the changing landscape of state laws and evaluate potential responses to violations of federal protections. Today’s lawsuit against the State of Idaho over its near-total ban on abortion is the first public example of this work in action.

The Task Force’s other work includes advising agencies on legal issues that have arisen after thedobbs; coordinate technical assistance to both Congress and the States on federal constitutional issues; and meeting with members of a wide range of stakeholder groups, including state attorneys general’ offices, members of litigation, reproductive justice, and provider groups, and members of the pro bono legal community about our collective efforts to protect reproductive care .

We know these are scary and uncertain times for pregnant women and their providers, and the Department of Justice, through the work of its Task Force, is committed to doing everything possible to ensure continued legal access to reproductive services.

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And now I’d like to return the podium to the Attorney General, who will answer a few questions.