Legal Battles Over Abortion Access in the Wake of Supreme Court Decision

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Introduction

In the aftermath of the landmark Supreme Court decision in 2022 that revoked the constitutional right to abortion, the issue of abortion access has shifted to the states, sparking a new wave of legal battles.

Dueling Lawsuits in Texas and Idaho

Following the Biden administration’s declaration to safeguard abortion access in emergency situations through a long-standing federal law, conservative states such as Texas and Idaho launched legal challenges, resulting in conflicting lawsuits.

Impact of Circuit Split on Supreme Court

The conflicting rulings among federal courts, known as a circuit split, have increased the urgency for the Supreme Court to address whether the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act preempts state abortion bans, particularly in cases where emergency abortions are deemed necessary to stabilize a pregnant woman’s health.

After the fall of Roe v. Wade, the Department of Health and Human Services issued guidelines to hospitals, emphasizing that under federal law, pregnant women should have access to abortions in emergency situations, provided that medical professionals consider the procedures vital for stabilizing treatment.

In July 2022, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, objecting to its interpretation of the federal law as potentially compelling hospitals in Texas to perform abortions. Paxton accused the administration of undermining the Supreme Court’s decision and bypassing the legislative process.

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