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Medical Group, 20 States Join Idaho Abortion Lawsuit

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Rebecca Boone

Boise, Idaho (AP) — A legal battle over abortion rights rages between one of the country's reddest states and the U.S. government. I'm here.

Twenty states, Washington D.C., American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Academy of Pediatrics and other organizations are considering joining. filed a "friends of the court" brief as of Wednesday in support of the federal government's claim that Idaho's near-total abortion ban violates federal health care laws.

"That would really put doctors in a losing-lose situation," said Jeff Dubner, deputy general counsel for Democracy Forward, the legal team representing a coalition of medical associations. .

Physicians who follow federal law would be at risk of criminal prosecution and disqualification, Dubner said. Physicians who follow state law can put their patients' health at risk and endanger themselves and their hospitals.Federal fines or loss of funds.

Idaho's abortion ban makes nearly all abortions a felony, but doctors defend themselves in court by proving the procedure was necessary to save the patient's life. be able to. The Federal Emergency Medical and Labor Act requires Medicaid-funded hospitals to provide "stabilizing" care to patients experiencing medical emergencies, and the U.S. Department of Justice states that some abortions are involved.

The Justice Department sued Idaho in federal court earlier this month, asking a judge to stay the abortion ban.

The Idaho neighbors of Oregon and Washington were among the states that participated in filing a friend of the court opinion in another court, as Idaho patients with ectopic pregnancies, etc. said it feared the "ripple effect" the abortion ban could create. Emergencies are sent to hospitals in Seattle or Portland for treatment.

States as far afield as North Carolina may be at risk of death or harm if a pregnant resident happens to become ill while visiting Idaho.

"Women's lives are at risk as politicians seek to deprive them of their right to the health care they need," said the North Carolina Attorney General. Josh Stein said. “The state seeks to ban abortion in all cases, including rape, incest, and when the mother's health is at risk. Denying care is a violation of federal law, and I am taking these actions to help people in North Carolina who may need urgent care in other states, as well as other women across the country.

Even if the federal government wins, Idaho has enacted three major abortion bans in the last two years, leaving most Abortion is likely to remain illegal.

In the case of pregnant patients with severe bleeding, "she How many units of blood do you have to lose? 1. 2. 5." the organization wrote in court documents. "How fast should she bleed? Two pads an hour. Three. How low should her blood pressure be?"

Court Other professional organizations that have signed Friend's Brief include the American Medical Association, the College of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the American Medical Association, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Public Health Association. The American Hospital Association and the American Association of Medical Colleges wrote separate briefs in support of the Justice Department.

It has already led to delays and denials of emergency medical care, he said.

A patient traveled to Michigan after being denied treatment for an ectopic pregnancy in her home country. The reason, the brief said, was that fetal heart activity was still detectable, making abortion illegal under the so-called heart rate law.

A hospital in Missouri requires special pharmacist approval to dispense medications needed to stop severe bleeding that occurs after a patient's birth, leading to delays in treatment. A Wisconsin patient who had a miscarriage was also confused about the legality of the miscarriage, so the hospital bled for 10 days before the fetal tissue was removed, the state said.

California, New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania , Rhode Island, Washington, and Washington, D.C. all signed the Court's opinion.

Attorneys representing Idaho and the Idaho Legislature said the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade gave the state the right to decide whether or how to handle abortions. Given that state law 622 regulations do not actually pose a risk to patients or health care providers.

"The government's position on the conflict between (Emergency Medical and Labor Law) and the 622 Statue is a hoax and is actually unsubstantiated and false," said lawyer Daniel Bower. wrote to Congress.

Congress argues that the treatment of an ectopic pregnancy is not actually an abortion and is therefore not prohibited by state bans. Abortions performed to save a mother's life are not affected by the law, Bower writes, and other emergency abortions that can be affected are very rare.

Physicians would not be prosecuted if they occurred, Bauer wrote in his brief. We never hold back on the judgments and decisions of the relevant medical professionals," Bauer said.


Hannah Schoenbaum contributed from Raleigh, NC. Schoenbaum is a member of the Associated Press/Reports for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover hidden issues.

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