Texas sues to block Biden from requiring doctors to perform abortions in case of medical emergencies – Henry Club

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during a news conference as the US Supreme Court hears oral arguments in President Joe Biden’s bid to repeal Trump-era immigration policy that allowed migrants to await US hearings on their asylum claims Forced to live in Mexico, in Washington, US, April 26, 2022.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

Texas asked a federal court on Thursday to block the Biden administration’s requirement that physicians and hospitals provide abortions in case of medical emergencies.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas that federal law does not provide for the right to an abortion.

The lawsuit comes three days after Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra warned hospitals and physicians Need to provide abortion in case of medical emergency Where it is necessary treatment to save the life of a pregnant woman. Becerra said hospitals and physicians who refuse to comply could have their Medicare provider agreements terminated and face financial penalties.

Becerra said the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act undoes state laws that restrict access to abortion in emergency situations. But Paxton said the law does not mandate any specific treatment, arguing that the HHS requirement is illegal, unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Abortion has been made illegal in Texas under a 1925 law that protected access to the procedure as a constitutional right for nearly 50 years after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month. The ban is now enforced through fines and lawsuits.

Texas has another law, passed in 2021, that will go into effect in the coming weeks, which makes abortion a crime punishable by up to life in prison. The ban makes an exception if a licensed physician determines that the woman suffered a life-threatening physical condition.

President Joe Biden last week issued an executive order directing HHS to take action to protect access to abortion. Becerra’s warning that physicians and hospitals are required to provide abortions in case of medical emergencies is the most concrete step the administration has ever taken to protect access to the procedure.

At least nine states have banned abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. Several other states have tried to ban the process but their laws have been blocked by state courts.

Although most state abortion restrictions make exceptions when a woman’s life is in danger, US health officials worry that careful doctors may wait too long to treat complications from ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages while awaiting legal guidance.

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