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Judge rules in favor of Texas pro-life law


Demonstrators near the Texas state Capitol in June of 2022. Associated Press/Photo by Eric Gay, file

Judge rules in favor of Texas pro-life law

Texas Judge James Wesley Hendrix ruled doctors are not required to perform an abortion as part of emergency care. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) mandates that hospitals in the Medicare program provide emergency services even if individuals cannot pay. In July, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services interpreted that law to include abortion—meaning a doctor could not be prosecuted for performing an abortion if the mother’s health was at risk. Hendrix ruled that since the law did not mention abortion, it could not override Texas laws or the doctor’s duty to the child.

What about other states? Idaho Judge B. Lynn Winmill heard arguments Monday about whether EMTALA overrides state legislation that only gives medical exemptions for abortion when a mother’s life is at risk. The agency’s interpretation of EMTALA would broaden Idaho’s law to protect doctors who performed an abortion when a woman’s health—not her life—was at risk. Both cases will likely be appealed and possibly brought to the Supreme Court.

Dig deeper: Read Leah Savas’ report in Vitals about the varying positions Republicans hold on abortion and pro-life support.


Anna Mandin

Anna Mandin is a journalism student at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Canada. She graduated from World Journalism Institute in June 2022.


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