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The US Department of Justice is suing Idaho to protect access to abortion – US Politics News – Report by AFR

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Tuesday to protect access to abortion, its first lawsuit since the Supreme Court overturned legal safeguards over the process.

The lawsuit against Idaho aims to force the conservative western state to offer abortions to women in medical emergencies in hospitals that receive Medicare funding from the government.

Idaho is one of several states to enact a near-total ban on abortion after the Supreme Court ruled in June’s landmark Roe v. Wade” of 1973, which enshrined a woman’s right to an abortion.

Democratic President Joe Biden condemned the Supreme Court ruling and has pledged to do everything in his power to ensure abortion access.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the lawsuit was designed to protect women’s rights to access emergency medical care, which are guaranteed by federal law.

The Justice Department said an Idaho law scheduled to go into effect Aug. 25 conflicts with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) passed by Congress.

EMTALA allows for an abortion in situations where the procedure is “necessary stabilizing treatment for a medical emergency.”

The Justice Department said Idaho law provides no protection for medical providers who perform an abortion necessary to protect a pregnant woman’s health.

“We will use all resources at our disposal to ensure pregnant women receive the emergency medical treatment to which they are entitled under federal law,” Garland said. “And we will be scrutinizing state abortion laws to make sure they comply with federal laws.”

The Attorney General said the lawsuit does not “walk around the Supreme Court”.

“The Supreme Court said each state can make its own decisions regarding abortion,” he said. “But the federal government can do that, too.”

Garland noted that under the so-called precedence clause in the Constitution, “Federal statutes overrule state statutes that are in direct conflict.”

About two dozen of the 50 US states have passed or are in the process of passing a near-total abortion ban following the Supreme Court decision.

Voters went to the polls in the Midwestern state of Kansas on Tuesday to comment on the first major ballot on abortion since the Supreme Court ended the national right to the procedure.

Kansans are deciding whether to remove abortion rights from the traditionally conservative state’s constitution.

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