Federal regulations do not require emergency rooms to perform life-saving abortions if the state law says otherwise, the 5th Circuit federal appeals court ruled yesterday. It comes as no surprise, since the 5th is where rights go to die. Via the Texas Tribune:
Texas sued, saying this was tantamount to a “nationwide mandate that every hospital and emergency-room physician perform abortions.” Several anti-abortion medical associations joined the lawsuit as well.
Since summer 2022, all abortions have been banned in Texas, except to save the life of the pregnant patient. But doctors, and their patients with medically complex pregnancies, have struggled with implementing the medical exception, reportedly delaying or denying abortion care rather than risk up to life in prison and the loss of their license.[…] Tuesday’s ruling, authored by Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt (Trump appointee, natch), said the court “decline[d] to expand the scope of EMTALA.”
“We agree with the district court that EMTALA does not provide an unqualified right for the pregnant mother to abort her child,” Englehardt wrote. “EMTALA does not mandate medical treatments, let alone abortion care, nor does it preempt Texas law.”