Wednesday, August 03, 2022

But What If Women Dying Makes Sam Alito Smile?

I applaud all efforts by the Biden administration to fight back in the post-Roe world (and would back many things they sadly aren't going to try!), but I despair a bit at the desire to parse legal arguments when "fuck you, we're in charge" is the operative legal framework of the Supremos.
Many of those new measures are “trigger” laws that took effect once the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The Idaho law, passed in 2020, is particularly harsh. It defines abortion as criminal and says that anyone proven to deliver one has committed a crime. Accused people can then defend themselves at trial, including by arguing that the abortion was necessary to prevent the pregnant woman’s death or that she was a victim of rape or incest that was reported to police.

The Justice Department believes that creates a legal vulnerability. Its lawsuit notes that Idaho has violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), a federal law that requires medical facilities that receive federal funds to give “stabilizing treatment” to patients.

The rub here is the gap between an exception to abortion only to avert death (per Idaho law) and the requirement that hospitals provide treatment to people facing very serious health threats or emergencies, including ones short of death (per federal law).