Federal Appeals Court Rejects Biden’s Use of 1986 Emergency Law for Hospital Abortions in Texas

A federal appeals court rules against the Biden administration’s use of a 1986 emergency care law to enforce hospital abortions in Texas, marking a pivotal decision in abortion rights.

In a significant ruling, a federal appeals court in New Orleans has determined that the Biden administration cannot leverage a 1986 emergency care law to enforce the provision of abortions in Texas hospitals for women at risk due to pregnancy.

The decision emerged as part of an ongoing legal landscape surrounding abortion rights after the U.S. Supreme Court‘s pivotal decision in 2022.

The Biden administration had issued guidance in 2022, asserting that hospitals must offer abortion services if a pregnant woman’s life is endangered, citing the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act of 1986. However, Texas state courts and abortion opponents contested this guidance.

The recent unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the administration’s appeal, emphasizing that the emergency care law does not grant an unqualified right for pregnant women to seek abortions, particularly when equal stabilization obligations are imposed.

This legal battle is part of a broader national conversation on abortion restrictions and highlights the ongoing disputes in various jurisdictions over the interpretation and application of healthcare laws related to emergency care and abortion services.

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