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Judge blocks part of Idaho’s new abortion law

A protest came after the Planned Parenthood affiliate filed a lawsuit in the Idaho Supreme Court to prevent the state from triggering a law banning abortion. A federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked part of Idaho’s strict abortion law slated to take effect on Thursday, giving the Biden administration a narrow courtroom victory in the first case. to protect reproductive rights since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

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One federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked part of Idaho’s strict abortion law slated to go into effect on Thursday, giving the Biden administration a narrow courtroom victory in its first case to defend reproductive rights since Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

A ruling from Judge B. Lynn Winmill prevents Idaho from enforcing the new law when it conflicts with federal guidance on emergency abortion care in hospitals.

“The State of Idaho will suffer no real harm if the Court issues the modest preliminary order the United States is requesting,” Winmill wrote.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland Announce the lawsuit against Idaho earlier this month, and argued that state law conflicts with a federal statute known as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA, enacted in 1986 to protect patients get adequate emergency medical care.

That law requires doctors to provide urgently needed medical treatment to stabilize anyone entering the emergency room. “This includes abortion, when it is necessary treatment,” Garland said at the time.

Winmill heard arguments about the Justice Department’s request for the preliminary order Monday and said he would issue the order in writing no later than Wednesday. The state law is expected to go into effect on Thursday, minus a provision that Winmill said the state cannot currently enforce.

While the state argued that its law did not conflict with EMTALA, Winmill found its argument unconvincing, “because it failed to properly interpret the astonishing breadth of its law,” which he said “criminalize all abortions.”

“It is impossible to comply with both regulations,” Winmill wrote. “[W]where the federal law that requires the provision of care and the state law that criminalizes that care, both laws cannot be complied with. Dots.”

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