The Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging Idaho’s six-week abortion ban.
The department argued that Idaho’s law conflicts with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), a law that requires providers to offer medically stabilizing treatment in an emergency, even if that care is an abortion.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction to prevent enforcement of the law in situations where an abortion is necessary for stabilizing treatment for an emergency medical condition. The DOJ said the law will likely force providers to withhold care based on a “well-founded fear of criminal prosecution.”
The Idaho “trigger” law takes effect Aug. 25 and would subject doctors to arrest and criminal prosecution for performing an abortion, even if a patient is suffering from a medical emergency like ectopic pregnancy, complications of miscarriage or severe preeclampsia.