With the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court, states all across the United States are signing into law legislation that outlaws abortions in most cases. Naturally, the Democratic Party and most of the liberally led federal government are not too thrilled about this. However, for most states, there is little they can do.
But that doesn’t mean they are just going to sit idle and let what they call “women’s reproductive rights” be squashed.
And so, they started with a lawsuit against the state of Idaho.
Idaho is one of about 25 or so states thus far that have recently created anti-abortion laws. However, theirs might be a bit stricter than some, or at least that’s how the federal government and Department of Justice are taking it.
According to the DOJ’s Attorney General Merrick Garland, the state’s new law, which is set to go into effect on August 25, directly conflicts with a federal one that requires doctors and medical professionals to provide emergency treatment to save a patient’s life.
“Idaho’s law would make it a criminal offense for doctors to provide emergency medical treatment that federal law requires,” in the case that the needed emergency medical treatment is an abortion.
The law, known as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, requires anyone who comes into a medical facility for emergency treatment gets the needed treatment. According to Garland, Idaho’s law would essentially ban emergency doctors from doing this if a pregnant woman comes in and needs an abortion to save her life.
Or should the doctor perform the abortion and, in so doing, save the mother’s life, Idaho law would allow that doctor to be arrested, indicted, and prosecuted “merely by showing that an abortion has been performed, without regard to the circumstances.” As the DOJ continued, this then “puts the burden on the physician to prove an ‘affirmative defense’ at trial.”
Affirmative defense consists of one of two things. Either it can be proved that the pregnant woman was indeed at risk of losing her life due to the pregnancy or complications thereof. Or there must be evidence that the pregnant woman was a victim of rape or incest, meaning that such an atrocity was reported to law enforcement and that the abortion provider had this report on hand.
As I said, Idaho’s law is a bit firmer than others, hence why the DOJ chose the Gem State as their first target.
But as Republican Idaho Governor Brad Little says, this isn’t really any of the federal government’s concern anymore.
“Our nation’s highest court returned the issue of abortion to the states to regulate – end of story. The US Justice Department’s interference with Idaho’s pro-life law is another example of Biden overreaching yet again while he continues to ignore issues that really should demand his attention – like crushing inflation and the open border with Mexico.”
I have to admit, he’s not wrong on this. If the issue is now one of state concern, the federal government shouldn’t be trying to control how, when, or why states choose the laws they do about it. Of course, that doesn’t mean that any state can just make up whatever law they want to about any issue they are tasked with regulating without regard to the safety of the American people.
But most in Idaho clearly believe this law doesn’t do that. It still provides exceptions to the anti-abortion rule, first and foremost that pregnancy can be terminated if a woman’s life is in danger due to pregnancy. And forgive me if I’m wrong, but that, in fact, what Garland says the EMTALA federal rule does, too, right?
So there isn’t really any conflict here.
There has become a problem of doctors either delaying or outright denying pregnant patients such treatment for fear of being prosecuted, which, Idaho Democratic Party Chair Lauren Necochea says, is “immoral.”
And I am prone to agree. While I believe abortion should be avoided if possible, waiting for a woman’s medical condition to worsen to the point of near death is a hard pill to swallow and anything but immoral. And I would think that violates the Hippocratic oath they took.
But does that mean doctors should be given more leniency to perform abortions? Let us know what you think.