NRL News

When will the Supreme Court hand down its decision?

by | Jun 26, 2024

By Dave Andrusko

Perhaps tomorrow, or perhaps Friday—the first day of the 53rd NRLC Conference—the Supreme Court will announce its decision on the Biden Administration’s attempted override of Idaho’s Defense of Life Act which would mandate abortion on demand throughout all fifty states in hospital emergency rooms.

In the 2022 NRLC Conference, we had just completed the opening Prayer Breakfast where Catherine Davis had wowed the gathering and were half-way through pro-life bioethicist Wesley J. Smith’s riveting talk on “How the technocracy threatens the Sanctity of Life” when a booming voice in back rang out” Roe is overturned.”

There was stunned silence….for all of a half-second. The audience knew the Supreme Court had decided Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization in favor of the babies.

Will that happen again in 2024?

National Right to Life filed a friend of the court brief supporting Idaho’s pro-life law. NRLC’s brief argued that Biden’s attempt to force hospital emergency rooms to perform abortions under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is contrary to that federal law which was only meant to protect emergency room patients from being dumped and does not mandate that the hospital provide medical care that is contrary to state law.

EMTALA was enacted in 1986 and contains a duty to both a pregnant woman and her unborn child. The act never mentions abortion.

“The Biden Administration is attempting to twist the compassionate EMTALA law to push their radical agenda of unlimited abortion,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.

NRLC Brief

Under the heading “HHS [Health and Human Services] interpretation of ‘stabilizing treatment’ contradicts plain language of EMTALA and previous agency guidance,” NRLC argues in its friend of the court brief

HHS’s attempt to discover an abortion mandate within EMTALA’s limited stabilization requirement for emergency medical conditions exceeds the bounds of regulatory authority granted by Congress. EMTALA contains no language expressly directing abortion services. Rather, HHS is reaching beyond EMTALA’s text and structure to insert its own policy preferences favoring abortion access. This overreach contravenes foundational limits on agency power.


HHS has issued guidance purporting to discover a federal abortion mandate in EMTALA’s requirement to provide stabilizing treatment. But this mandate exists only from HHS’s erroneous interpretation, not EMTALA’s text. The guidance represents a stark example of agency overreach— HHS conjuring new regulatory powers on a political whim.

Finally, there’s the wonderful op-ed that appeared in the publication “The Hill,” in which Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador wrote

EMTALA was passed to ensure that emergency rooms serve everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. The purpose of this law is to save lives, not to take them. Similarly, Idaho’s law ensures that mothers’ and children’s lives are protected. There is harmony between Idaho’s law and EMTALA, but the administration is attempting to sow discord. Rather than seek to save lives, it is twisting the law into something unrecognizable, all to endanger lives and unnecessarily burden emergency room staff.

Pro-lifers can’t wait to read the Supreme Court’s decision.

Categories: Supreme Court