Supreme Court Fails to Clarify Emergency Abortions

Supreme Court Fails to Clarify Emergency Abortions
Supreme Court Fails to Clarify Emergency Abortions. Credit | AP

United States: The U.S. Supreme Court have decided that Idaho hospitals and health care clinics can provide emergency abortions despite being very strict state laws. However, the 6-3 procedural ruling didn’t answer whether the states can ban doctors from performing emergency abortions to definitely save a woman’s health.

Expert Opinions

Health and law experts say the decision does not protect pregnant women in states with abortion bans. State restrictions might conflict with federal laws that the Biden administration says require emergency abortions.

Joanne Rosen from Johns Hopkins Center for Law and the Public’s Health commented, “The Supreme Court’s decision doesn’t clarify how conflicts between state and federal laws should be resolved.”

Understanding Emergency Abortions

Around nearly  50,000 pregnant women in the United States mut face life-threatening complications an really very terrible experiences each year, like sepsis or severe bleeding. In some cases, doctors may need to abort a pregnancy to save the woman’s life, especially if the fetus cannot survive.

The Idaho Case

The Biden administration sued Idaho over its strict abortion law, which only allows abortions to save a woman’s life. The lawsuit argued that this restricted doctors from performing necessary emergency abortions. Idaho’s lawyers claimed no conflict existed because state law permits life-saving abortions.

Future Supreme Court Involvement

The Supreme Court reinstated a lower court ruling allowing Idaho hospitals to perform emergency abortions to save a pregnant patient’s health. The issue may return to the Supreme Court, with similar cases pending in Texas and other states.

Judicial Stance

Three liberal justices believe federal law mandates emergency abortions regardless of state laws. Conversely, three conservative justices argue the federal law requires hospitals to consider the “unborn child.” The final decision may rest with Justices John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

Rob Gatter, a health policy expert at St. Louis University, noted, “The justices may be waiting to see how lower courts handle the issue first.”