Supreme Court temporarily reinstates Idaho abortion ban, will hear arguments in April – JURIST

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The US Supreme Court on Friday temporarily reinstated Idaho’s abortion ban, which includes emergency abortions, and agreed to hear arguments on the matter. Section 18-622 of the Idaho Statutes criminalizes performing or attempting to perform an abortion, unless not doing so would result in the mother’s death. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted a stay in October which prevented the law’s enforcement. Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court effectively reversed the Ninth Circuit’s stay.

The Idaho legislature passed Section 18-622 in 2020 as a “trigger law,” in case the Supreme Court ever overturned the abortion rights case Roe v. Wade, which established that the US Constitution implied a “right to privacy” under the 14th Amendment, the legal basis for allowing women to seek abortions without interference from the government. The Supreme Court overturned Roe in 2022 with Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In Dobbs, the court stated that the “right to abortion” was not an unenumerated right backed by deep cultural roots and was therefore not implied by the Constitution.

The Biden administration has argued that Idaho’s law interferes with the federal Examination and Treatment for Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). However, the Ninth Circuit dismissed this claim, as EMTALA was specifically intended to cover treatment for uninsured people, and was not intended to legalize abortion.

After granting certiorari, the Supreme Court stated that arguments in the case will take place in April of this year. Until then, the stay will be in effect. According to court documents, the stay will terminate in effect once the court hands down its judgment.

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