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DOJ announces lawsuit against Idaho to ‘protect reproductive rights’

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DOJ

On Tuesday the Department of Justice announced a plan of action to “protect reproductive rights.” A press conference was held by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta to announce the “first affirmative litigation to protect access to reproductive healthcare following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs” the DOJ’s media advisory noted.

In the delivered statement by Gupta, it was announced that the DOJ filed a lawsuit challenging Idaho Code § 18-622 (§ 18-622), which is set to go into effect on Aug. 25 and imposes a near-total ban on abortion.

The Department of Justice’s Press Release titled “Justice Department Sues Idaho to Protect Reproductive Rights: Complaint Alleges Idaho Law Violates the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act” summarizes Garland and Gupta’s statements:

The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment that § 18-622 conflicts with, and is preempted by, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) in situations where an abortion is necessary stabilizing treatment for an emergency medical condition. The United States also seeks an order permanently enjoining the Idaho law to the extent it conflicts with EMTALA. 

“On the day Roe and Casey were overturned, we promised that the Justice Department would work tirelessly to protect and advance reproductive freedom,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.  “That is what we are doing, and that is what we will continue to do. We will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that pregnant women get the emergency medical treatment to which they are entitled under federal law. And we will closely scrutinize state abortion laws to ensure that they comply with federal law.” 

“Federal law is clear: patients have the right to stabilizing hospital emergency room care no matter where they live,” said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Women should not have to be near death to get care. The Department of Health and Human Services will continue its work with the Department of Justice to enforce federal law protecting access to health care, including abortions.”

“One critical focus of the Reproductive Rights Task Force has been assessing the fast-changing landscape of state laws and evaluating potential legal responses to infringements on federal protections,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “Today’s lawsuit against the State of Idaho for its near-absolute abortion ban is the first public example of this work in action. We know that these are frightening and uncertain times for pregnant women and their providers, and the Justice Department, through the Task Force’s work, is committed to doing everything we can to ensure continued lawful access to reproductive services.”

 EMTALA requires hospitals that receive federal Medicare funds to provide necessary stabilizing treatment to patients who arrive at their emergency departments while experiencing a medical emergency. When a physician reasonably determines that the necessary stabilizing treatment is an abortion, state law cannot prohibit the provision of that care. The statute defines necessary stabilizing treatment to include all treatment needed to ensure that a patient will not have her health placed in serious jeopardy, have her bodily functions seriously impaired, or suffer serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

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Elections

BREAKING: Trump ordered to pay over $350M, barred from operating his business in NY in civil fraud case ruling

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Former President Donald Trump and his business empire faced a significant setback as a New York judge ruled against them in a civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The 92-page ruling, handed down by Judge Arthur Engoron, barred Trump from operating his business in New York for three years and imposed over $350 million in damages.

The case, which unfolded over months of trial proceedings, stemmed from allegations that Trump inflated his assets and engaged in fraudulent practices. Engoron’s ruling cited a litany of charges, including persistent fraud, falsifying records, issuing false financial statements, and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Moreover, the judge imposed restrictions on key figures within the Trump Organization, including Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, barring them from serving in certain corporate roles in New York for a specified period.

Engoron’s scathing assessment of Trump’s testimony during the trial further undermined the former president’s credibility. The judge criticized Trump for evasive responses and irrelevant digressions, highlighting the detrimental effect on his credibility.

In response to the ruling, Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise, lambasted the court’s decision, alleging political bias and a disregard for established legal principles. Kise argued that the evidence presented during the trial failed to support the allegations of fraud and emphasized Trump’s substantial net worth.

Kise’s assertions were echoed by Alina Habba, another attorney representing Trump, who denounced the verdict as a “manifest injustice” resulting from a politically motivated witch hunt.

Throughout the proceedings, Trump consistently dismissed the trial as politically motivated, accusing both Engoron and James of partisan bias. His legal team also criticized the absence of a jury in the trial, questioning the fairness of the proceedings.

Attorney General Letitia James, who spearheaded the lawsuit against Trump and his organization, portrayed the ruling as a victory for accountability and transparency in business practices. The lawsuit alleged fraudulent conduct and sought substantial financial penalties, a portion of which would contribute to the state treasury.

The fallout from the case extends beyond Trump and his business interests, with implications for the broader business community and the rule of law. The contentious nature of the trial and its outcome underscored deep divisions and raised questions about the integrity of the legal system.

Trump vows to appeal the decision.

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