Texas Sues Biden Administration Over New Abortion Guidance

Texas has sued the Biden administration on July 14 to challenge recent guidance reminding hospitals and doctors that federal law requires them to provide abortions in medical emergency cases.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, arguing that the guidance the Biden administration released this week “seeks to transform every emergency room in the country into a walk-in abortion clinic.”

The lawsuit argues that the guidance released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding their use of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) “forces hospitals and doctors to commit crimes and risk their licensure under Texas law.”

The lawsuit accuses President Joe Biden of “flouting the Supreme Court’s ruling before the ink is dry,” following the country’s highest court’s decision last month to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling that granted abortion rights.

HHS issued a memo to hospitals and doctors across the country on July 11 reaffirming that the EMTALA protects healthcare providers when offering legally mandated, life- or health-saving abortion services in emergency cases regardless of whatever bans their state imposes.

The EMTALA allows physicians to determine what qualifies as an emergency medical condition for a pregnant patient.

However, Paxton argued that EMTALA “does not authorize and has never been thought to authorize the federal government to require emergency healthcare providers to perform abortions.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the Texas lawsuit “yet another example of an extreme and radical Republican elected official.”

“It is unthinkable that this public official would sue to block women from receiving life-saving care in emergency rooms, a right protected under U.S. law,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

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