WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Tuesday sued Idaho over a strict state abortion law set to take effect this month that the Justice Department said would inhibit emergency room doctors from performing abortions that are necessary to stabilize the health of women facing medical emergencies.
The lawsuit, announced by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, is the first the Biden administration has filed to protect access to abortion since the Supreme Court ruling in late June that ended the constitutional right to terminate pregnancies.
Since then, Mr. Garland noted, “there have been widespread reports of delays and denials of treatment to pregnant women experiencing emergencies.” The lawsuit argues that a federal law, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, bars states from imposing restrictions that would prevent emergency room doctors from treating those women.
“If a patient comes into the emergency room with a medical emergency jeopardizing the patient’s life or health, the hospital must provide the treatment necessary to stabilize that patient,” Mr. Garland said. “This includes abortion when that is the necessary treatment.”