A federal court sided with Attorney General Ken Paxton and against the Biden Administration’s attempt to use the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act to turn Texas hospitals into “walk-in abortion clinics”.
As covered in AmericanProlifer.com previously, the Department of Health and Human Services was sued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton after HHS issued a letter threatening Texas hospitals with the removal of federal funds if they refused to use abortion to “stabilize” pregnant women seeking abortions.
Pro-lifers, including the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations argued the term “stabilize” was never intended to include abortion but that HHS’ guidance demanded hospitals include abortions beyond either the intent of the federal law or Texas’ accommodations for life threatening complications of pregnancy.
Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge James Hendrix granted a motion for a preliminary injunction against the HHS guidance, agreeing with Texas’ Attorney General and pro-lifers that the EMTALA does not apply to abortions.
But in Dobbs’s wake and in an attempt to resolve any potential conflict with state law, the Department of Health and Human Services issued Guidance purporting to remind providers of their existing EMTALA obligations to provide abortions regardless of state law. That Guidance goes well beyond EMTALA’s text, which protects both mothers and unborn children, is silent as to abortion, and preempts state law only when the two directly conflict. Since the statute is silent on the question, the Guidance cannot answer how doctors should weigh risks to both a mother and her unborn child. Nor can it, in doing so, create a conflict with state law where one does not exist. The Guidance was thus unauthorized.State of Texas v Becerra
Judge Hendrix: an Obama and Trump Nominee
It is interesting to note that Judge Hendrix was nominated to the federal judiciary by President Obama in 2016 but his nomination expired without a confirmation. In 2019, President Donald Trump nominated him again and he was confirmed by an almost unanimous vote of 89-1.
Big Loss for Pro-Abortion Biden Admin
The Biden administration’s issuance of two executive orders on abortion has focused on using the department of Health and Human Services to promote abortion in states where abortion is likely to be limited by pro-life laws defending the right to life of preborn children.
One of the pro-abortion president’s tools in his toolkit, the threat of denial of federal funds for failure to comply with federal law, was dealt a blow yesterday as the federal court not only interpreted the EMTALA law not to include abortion, but also to apply to the benefit of the unborn child.
The other tactic being employed by the pro-abortion Biden administration is to promote the distribution of chemical abortions in pro-life states through the mail. This was the subject of litigation between South Dakota, that banned such a practice, and Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion mill. However Planned Parenthood dropped the case after the Dobbs decision.
It remains to be seen how the enforcement of state chemical abortion bans will stand up against Biden’s push to make them available.