NRL News

Federal Texas Judge Blocks Biden’s Attempted Abortion Mandate

by | Aug 26, 2022

 By Peter Pinedo, Texas Right to Life

On August 24, a federal Texas judge blocked Joe Biden’s attempt to force Texas emergency rooms and hospitals to kill preborn babies by committing illegal abortions.

Following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, Biden and anti-Life Democrats have been desperately searching for ways to subvert Pro-Life state laws to continue the destruction of preborn Life.

Biden’s latest attempt came in the form of an effort to co-opt the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) to force emergency rooms and hospitals to commit abortions.

EMTALA is a federal law that requires public hospitals to stabilize and care for any patient who needs emergency treatment, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. President Ronald Reagan championed and signed EMTALA into law in 1986 to ensure that vulnerable patients, including pregnant mothers in labor, would receive essential care for themselves and their preborn children.

Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued “guidance” to hospitals attempting to twist EMTALA to mandate that doctors must commit abortions whenever it is the “necessary stabilizing treatment.”

By including abortion within the definition of “stabilizing treatment,” Biden is attempting to radically expand exceptions to Pro-Life laws far beyond just life-threatening emergencies. Biden’s directive distorts the life-saving provisions of EMTALA, compelling doctors to choose between performing abortions in violation of Pro-Life state law or forfeiting their Medicare and Medicaid funding.

While this directive claims to only focus on life-threatening circumstances, the language would actually broaden abortions when the mother’s physical life is not in danger. Every Texas Pro-Life law already has a clearly defined exception for a situation when the mother’s life is at risk. Thus, the Biden administration’s pro-abortion guidance is entirely unnecessary and reveals a larger anti-Life agenda at work. 

In response, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration in federal court for their attempt to “use federal law to transform every emergency room in the country into a walk-in abortion clinic.”

Paxton’s lawsuit points out that EMTALA has never authorized the federal government to force doctors to commit abortions and to do so would violate several other federal laws. In fact, EMTALA explicitly states that it does not preempt any state or local law.

Judge James Hendrix, a U.S. Judge for the Northern District of Texas, ruled in Paxton’s favor and blocked enforcement of Biden’s mandate in Texas. Judge Hendrix’s opinion stated that,

(EMTALA) says nothing about abortion, but it does impose obligations to stabilize both a mother and her unborn child… The Department of Health and Human Services issued Guidance to hospitals purporting to remind them that EMTALA requires the provision of abortions in certain circumstances regardless of whether they are permitted under state law. Because that Guidance exceeds EMTALA’s text… the Court grants the plaintiffs motion for preliminary injunction and enjoins the Guidance’s enforcement.

This ruling against the Biden administration is a resounding victory for the Pro-Life movement that will have life-saving consequences. If Biden’s mandate had been allowed to take effect, thousands of Texas babies would have suffered cruel deaths through abortion. We praise God for this success in building a fully Pro-Life Texas. 

Categories: Judicial