On Thursday (July 14), Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, a move that followed the Department of Health and Human Services reiterating guidance given by President Joe Biden that a doctor must perform an abortion if a pregnant woman’s life is in danger.
The lawsuit, which names Health Secretary Xavier Becerra and other officials as defendants, states that “President Biden is flagrantly disregarding the legislative and democratic process — and flouting the Supreme Court’s ruling before the ink is dry — by having his appointed bureaucrats mandate that hospitals and emergency medicine physicians must perform abortions.”
On Monday (July 11), Becerra issued a directive that under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, physicians “must” conduct an abortion on a pregnant mother if it is the “stabilizing treatment necessary to resolve” a medical emergency.
Becerra also noted that the directive would supersede state laws banning abortion in cases where state law “does not include an exception for the life and health of the pregnant person — or draws the exception more narrowly than EMTALA’s emergency medical condition definition.”
The Texas Attorney General stated the new directive is a wide interpretation, mandating” abortions under a whole new range of circumstances” that conflict with the Hyde Amendment prohibiting “federal dollars from being used to fund abortions except when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or the woman’s life is in danger.”
The lawsuit comes on the heels of a trigger law going into effect in Texas, which will ban all abortions in the state, only allowing the procedure to be performed if a pregnancy “places the female at risk of death or poses a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function.”