Posted by Curt on 24 August, 2022 at 8:56 am. 2 comments already!


by Steven Ertelt

A federal judge has blocked Joe Biden’s attempt to force Texas hospitals to kill babies in abortions following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Texas Attorney General Paxton has filed a motion asking a federal court to block Joe Biden from misusing a federal law to compel Texas doctors and hospitals to do abortions above and beyond the very rare situations where an abortion may be necessary to save the life of the mother.
Paxton filed a motion to enjoin the Biden Administration from using a provision of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) to require Texas hospitals and doctors to perform abortions as a condition of receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding.
He said Biden’s recent pro-abortion mandate “has the effect of requiring doctors and hospitals to choose between performing abortions in violation of State law or caring for women as they always have while incurring fines and the loss of federal funding” and added that Biden is misusing a federal law designed to protect unborn children to try to force abortions.
A federal judge has sided with the state.
US District Judge James Wesley Hendrix in Lubbock agreed with Paxton, saying the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ guidance was unauthorized and went beyond the text of a related federal law. As Reuters reported, the victory was limited in its scope:

The judge declined to enjoin the guidance nationwide and instead only barred HHS from enforcing it and its interpretation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act in Texas and against two anti-abortion groups of doctors.
Hendrix ruled ahead of an expected Wednesday ruling by another judge on whether a near-total ban in Idaho challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice conflicts with the same federal statute at issue in Texas’s case.
In his ruling, Hendrix, an appointee of former Republican President Donald Trump, said the guidance went too far in extending that 1986 federal law, which seeks to ensure hospitals provide emergency medical care for the poor and uninsured.
“That Guidance goes well beyond EMTALA’s text, which protects both mothers and unborn children, is silent as to abortion, and preempts state law only when the two directly conflict,” he wrote.

Paxton says Texas law has long permitted doctors to perform abortions when the life of the mother is at risk. That is still the law. EMTALA does not empower the federal government to change that. EMTALA requires hospitals to treat patients the same regardless of their ability to pay; it does not authorize the federal government to commandeer the practice of medicine.
“While the Biden Administration continues to make up rules that are unconstitutional, I will keep holding them accountable,” said Attorney General Paxton. “I will not allow the Biden Administration to threaten doctors and hospitals with this unlawful mandate and put millions of Texans’ access to healthcare on the line.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is attempting to use the federal law that protects the “unborn child” to force Idaho to keep abortions legal.
National Review described the lawsuit from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland as a “bogus legal assault” on the Idaho abortion ban. Scheduled to go into effect Aug. 25, the law protects unborn babies by banning abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.
The federal government brought the suit seeking to invalidate the state’s “criminal prohibition on providing abortions as applied to women suffering medical emergencies,” Garland said.
His is one of several lawsuits filed against the Idaho law in response to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade this summer.
But Garland’s lawsuit makes an “unusual” argument by claiming the pro-life law violates the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), according to National Review.
The federal law requires hospital emergency rooms to treat and “stabilize” anyone suffering from a medical emergency if they receive Medicaid funds. Its purpose is to make sure hospitals do not kick out patients suffering from medical emergencies if they cannot pay for treatment.
The Biden administration lawsuit claims the Idaho law violates the EMTALA by banning abortions that would “stabilize” the health of a “pregnant patient,” the report states.
“Stabilize” is the key word. The Biden administration seemingly wants to expand the definition to include abortions in a wide-range of circumstances because, with actual medical emergencies involving pregnancy, treatment already is allowed under the Idaho law.
Interestingly, the Biden administration is citing EMTALA even though the federal law specifically requires emergency rooms to take steps to protect unborn babies.

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