Justice Department sues Idaho over abortion ban in first lawsuit after Roe


WASHINGTON — The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday arguing that Idaho’s near-total abortion ban violates federal law, the Biden administration’s first litigation to protect access to abortion since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade canceled in 1973.

Announcing the lawsuit, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Idaho’s ban violates federal law requiring medical providers to provide emergency medical care.

Garland announced the Justice Department’s legal action along with Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, who heads the Reproductive Rights Task Force.

The lawsuit comes several weeks after Garland said the department will advise federal agencies through their agencies on protecting access to abortion, conducting litigation and participating in court cases on the part of private parties with amicus briefs and expressions of interest.

“The Justice Department will use every means we have to ensure reproductive freedom,” he told reporters, adding that it will seek a motion to dismiss a Texas lawsuit alleging the Department of Health and Human Services guidelines Services are being challenged that ask medical providers to offer abortions in emergency situations.

The federal law on which the guidelines are based “obliges hospitals to provide stabilizing care to a patient who is admitted with a medical emergency that seriously threatens his or her life or health,” he said. “And where that stabilizing treatment is abortion, they have to do the abortion. They must do so in defiance of a state law so narrow it does not protect even a woman’s life or health.”

On Friday, Garland, Gupta and other DOJ officials called a meeting of private law firms, law professors, bar associations and public interest groups at the White House to discuss legal representation of patients, providers and third parties lawfully seeking or providing reproductive health care across the country .

The department is “working tirelessly to protect access to reproductive services” in recognition “of the crisis that it is,” Garland said.

“All of us — prosecutors, private pro bono attorneys, bar associations, public interest organizations — must do what we can to protect access to reproductive health care and provide vigorous legal representation for patients, providers and others in need,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kansas voters on Tuesday will vote on a constitutional amendment that will determine the future of abortion rights in their state — the first time in the U.S. voters have voted on abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe. Justice Department sues Idaho over abortion ban in first lawsuit after Roe

Fry Electronics Team

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