The new date is August 2, 2022.

The Justice Department sued Idaho on Tuesday over the state's "trigger law" banning abortion, the first legal challenge the federal government has brought against state-level abortion bans.

Abortion Rights Activists in Washington DC

Activists are protesting at the White House.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act requires hospitals that participate in Medicaid to provide emergency medical treatment to people who need it.

The abortion ban in Idaho will take effect on August 25th, but the state can still arrest doctors who perform abortions.

According to the DOJ, the law will prevent doctors from performing abortions even if it is medically necessary or if the patient is going to die.

The lawsuit asks the court to block the law to the extent it conflicts with EMTALA, which means that if the government succeeds, abortion could be better allowed in cases of medical emergencies.

Guidance from the Biden administration directed healthcare facilities to perform abortions when medically necessary, even though it is not allowed under state law.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has yet to respond to a request for comment.

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The lawsuit states that pregnant patients who arrive at an emergency department are entitled to the stabilizing emergency care.


The Idaho Supreme Court has been asked to strike down the state's abortion ban. In response to similar lawsuits, some states have had their abortion bans temporarily blocked in court. The legal challenge regarding the Biden administration's guidance to healthcare facilities to comply with EMTALA is still pending.

Key Background

The Idaho lawsuit is part of a larger effort by the Biden administration to downplay the impact of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn abortion rights in 1973. The administration has previously signaled it could take legal action against state abortion bans, but hadn't yet filed a lawsuit. Attorney General Garland said that the Justice Department would use every tool at its disposal to protect reproductive freedom. Reports that many physicians have delayed or refused to provide abortions despite the medical risks come as a concern over Idaho's abortion law. State abortion bans have been criticized as overly vague and confusing, and healthcare workers face criminal charges if they violate the laws, which makes performing abortions a felony.

HHS says hospitals need to offer abortions in emergencies in states where it is illegal.

The Biden administration is being sued by the state of Texas for requiring abortions during medical emergencies.

Here's where state lawsuits stand now, after Kentucky's abortion ban went back into effect.

The story will be changed.