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Texas is suing over federal laws requiring life-saving abortions – Health and Lifestyle News – Report by AFR

Texas sued the Biden administration Thursday over its allegation that federal laws preempt state laws when it comes to performing life-saving abortions.

The lawsuit, filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, is the latest salvo in the legal frenzy that has erupted since the Supreme Court ruled last month that individual US states can ban or limit abortion.

Following the Supreme Court decision, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said federal law protects health care providers who provide “life- or health-saving abortion services in emergency situations.”

“When a state law prohibits abortion and does not contain an exception for the life and health of the pregnant person … that state law is preemptive,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a letter to health care providers.

Paxton filed a lawsuit against HHS over its use of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), saying it would “oblige hospitals to perform abortions.”

“The Biden administration is trying to turn every emergency room in the country into a walk-in abortion clinic,” Paxton said in a statement.

“EMTALA does not authorize, and was never believed to authorize, the federal government to mandate emergency medical professionals to perform abortions,” he said.

“Now they’re trying to get their appointed bureaucrats to let hospitals and ER doctors do abortions,” Paxton added.

“I will ensure that President Biden is compelled to comply with the important Supreme Court decision on abortion, and I will not allow him to undermine and distort existing laws to fit his administration’s illegal agenda.”

Texas imposed a near-total abortion ban after the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade repealed the 1973 law that enshrined a woman’s legal right to an abortion.

It allows abortion in cases where a pregnant woman is faced with a life-threatening condition.

In all, about two dozen U.S. states are expected to severely restrict or outlaw and criminalize abortion, forcing women to travel long distances to states that still allow the procedure.

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