08.02.22

Senator Murray Statement on DOJ Challenging Idaho’s Extreme Abortion Ban

Senator Murray: “The abortion ban in Idaho—which doesn’t include an exception when the health of the mother is at risk—will force patients to cross state lines and come to Washington state just to get the abortion care they need, even in an emergency …. That’s not just cruel—it also flies in the face of federal laws.”

 

(Washington, DC) — Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), issued the following statement on Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is suing Idaho over its extreme abortion ban, which does not include exceptions when the health of the mother is at risk. The lawsuit alleges the ban violates the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which protects patients’ access to emergency medical treatment, and seeks an injunction on the ban to the extent that it conflicts with EMTALA. The announcement marks DOJ’s first post-Roe challenge of state abortion restrictions.

 

“The abortion ban in Idaho—which doesn’t include an exception when the health of the mother is at risk—will force patients to cross state lines and come to Washington state just to get the abortion care they need, even in an emergency. We’re talking about women facing urgent situations, forced to delay treatment and find a way to travel—with their health on the line. That’s not just cruel—it also flies in the face of federal laws on emergency medical care.

 

“I’m glad to see the Biden Administration and the Department of Justice act today to challenge Idaho’s cruel law and fight to protect women’s health. Abortion care is essential health care, and I’ll keep fighting to make sure that every woman—regardless of whether they live in Washington or across the border in Idaho—has full control of her own body, life, and future.”

 

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