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U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision in Moyle v. United States

by | Jun 27, 2024

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision in Moyle v. United States dismissing the case as “improvidently granted.” The decision reinstates the lower court’s pause on the Idaho law in question while litigation continues in the lower courts.

National Right to Life was seeking a ruling on the merits, however, the Court made clear that this case needs further lower court resolution. The state of Idaho had argued that the government’s interpretation of EMTALA would render Idaho’s pro-life law nearly unenforceable and would turn hospital emergency rooms into “federal abortion enclaves governed not by state law, but by physician judgment, and enforced by the United States’ mandate to perform abortions on demand.”  But, during arguments, the U.S. government went on record claiming they were doing no such thing.

Justice Barrett, in her concurring opinion, notes that the

…United States disclaimed these interpretations of EMTALA. First, it emphatically disavowed the notion that an abortion is ever required as stabilizing treatment for mental health conditions…. Second, the United States clarified that federal conscience protections, for both hospitals and individual physicians, apply in the EMTALA context.

During the oral argument, the federal government identified numerous emergency medical conditions, and Idaho confirmed that they could ALL be treated under state law.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has worked side-by-side with the abortion industry to expand unlimited abortion throughout all 50 states,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “The Biden-Harris Administration has deliberately created confusion and fear by claiming that women cannot and will not receive the emergency care they need.”

Tobias continued, “We were pleased to see the U.S. government changing its tune during oral argument, going on record to state that they are not trying to turn emergency rooms into elective abortion facilities. We hope the courts hold their feet to the fire on this promise.”

National Right to Life looks to the lower courts to uphold the Idaho law which, like laws in all 50 states, explicitly allows care for miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and treatment in a medical emergency. EMTALA does not conflict with pro-life state laws—women can and will be able to get ongoing care for emergencies.

National Right to Life filed a friend of the court brief supporting Idaho’s pro-life law, Defense of Life Act. The National Right to Life brief is available on the docket here.

Categories: Supreme Court