CHICAGO - Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of today a coalition of 24 attorneys general, filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Idaho v. United States and Moyle v. United States urging the court to protect access to emergency abortion care in Idaho, consistent with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).

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In the brief, Raoul and the coalition explain that abortion care has always been considered emergency care under EMTALA. Idaho’s near ban on abortion denies patients access to emergency health care, which can lead to serious, irreversible injuries and death. Idaho’s law also forces patients to seek emergency care in states like Illinois, which instead protect access to abortion and comply with EMTALA’s standards of providing emergency care – instead of restricting abortion.

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“No pregnant patient experiencing an emergency health condition should be denied care or be forced to travel long distances for life-saving treatment,” Raoul said. “Emergency abortion care saves lives and prevents further bodily harm, and a patient’s access to a potentially-lifesaving abortion should not depend upon the state in which they reside. I will continue to stand up for the rights of patients to access all forms of reproductive health care not only here in Illinois but across the country.”

Every hospital in the United States with an emergency department that participates in Medicare is subject to EMTALA. Under the law, emergency rooms are required to provide all patients who have an emergency medical condition with the treatment required to stabilize a patient’s condition, including administering abortion care. The Idaho law at issue, however, criminalizes abortion care in nearly all situations, including when a pregnant patient experiences an emergency medical condition and requires an abortion to prevent serious harm to their health.

This brief is the third one filed in United States v. Idaho. The coalition has also filed similar briefs in litigation involving EMTALA’s application to Texas’s abortion ban.

Joining Raoul in filing the brief are attorneys general from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

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