Pax­ton sues Biden Administration over efforts to ‘turn emergency rooms into abortion clinics’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration on Thursday over new federal...
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration on Thursday over new federal guidance saying doctors can continue to conduct abortions when providing emergency care(Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune)
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 2:48 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX & AP) - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding their use of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act to require hospitals to perform abortions when a mother’s life is at risk.

The latest move by the Biden Administration comes in the face of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade and the subsequent triggering of Texas’s abortion ban.

“By this move, the Biden Administration seeks to transform every emergency room in the country into a walk-in abortion clinic,” Paxton’s office said in a news release.

The Biden administration on Monday told hospitals that they “must” provide abortion services if the life of the mother is at risk, saying federal law on emergency treatment guidelines preempts state laws in jurisdictions that now ban the procedure without any exceptions following the Supreme Court’s decision to end a constitutional protections for abortion.

The Department of Health and Human Services cited requirements on medical facilities in the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA. The law requires medical facilities to determine whether a person seeking treatment may be in labor or whether they face an emergency health situation — or one that could develop into an emergency — and to provide treatment.

“EMTALA does not authorize and has never been thought to authorize the federal government to require emergency healthcare providers to perform abortions,” Paxton’s office said.

Read Paxton’s complaint here.

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