HomeWashington Letter2024 ▶ ATS Joins Amicus Brief in Abortion Access Case
ATS Joins Amicus Brief in Abortion Access Case

In March, the ATS joined the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association in an amicus brief in the case Idaho v. U.S. supporting a challenge to the Idaho state law that bans all abortions except to preserve the life of the mother.  In this case, the U.S. Justice Department is suing the state of Idaho contending that their state abortion ban conflicts with federal law – the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. 

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act or EMTALA was enacted over 30 years ago and creates a federal statutory obligation that hospital emergency room departments must provide "to all patients who present to hospital emergency rooms stabilizing care to prevent material deterioration" and "must act prior to the patient's condition declining." The law has been explicitly interpreted by federal courts to include providing abortions, when medically necessary, to stabilize the patient and prevent further serious injury.

The case is one of many cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding abortion as states and federal courts try to establish the legal boundaries after the Dobbs decision overturned precent established by Roe v Wade.

Last Reviewed: March 2024