Federal court to hear case on forcing pro-life physicians to provide abortions in the ER



The Biden administration recently appealed a case to the 5th Circuit arguing that emergency room doctors must perform abortions per the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.

It arose after a federal district court for the case State of Texas v. Becerra issued an injunction in August of 2022 in favor of the Alliance Defending Freedom, the organization representing the state of Texas, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations.

The court allowed the state of Texas to halt administration of the Emergency Treatment and Labor Act, which included forcing doctors to provide elective abortions in the emergency room. According to the ADF, the court determined that the state and the two pro-life physician groups are likely to prevail in the case against the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Emergency room physicians can, and do, treat ectopic pregnancies and other life-threatening conditions,” said ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle, director of the ADF Center for Life. “Elective abortion is not life-saving care – it ends the life of the unborn – and the government can’t force doctors to perform procedures that violate their conscience and religious beliefs.”

The Biden admin filed the appeal to the 5th Circuit in March of 2023. On July 7, Advancing American Freedom and 25 other organizations filed a friend-of-the-court brief concerning the case.

In it, they argued that the federal government had no right to force physicians to perform non-life-threatening abortions, saying “the Biden administration seeks to preempt constitutional laws enacted by states as an exercise of their legitimate interests in unborn life and maternal health.”

The Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra stands as the defendant for the case as it passes through the 5th Circuit.

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