After the Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, states began to broadly criminalize abortion. Abortion is criminalized and restricted even in situations that constitute an emergency medical condition under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (“EMTALA”). State abortion bans with limited medical exceptions conflict with EMTALA’s protections for emergency screening and stabilization. Legal challenges to the scope of EMTALA show a growing divide and uncertainty on emergency abortion care in the United States. This Comment will discuss why physicians cannot confidently provide quality and competent abortion care without the statutory protections afforded within EMTALA. This Comment argues that the vague and medically inaccurate language in state abortion bans must be preempted by EMTALA. Ensuring physicians are obligated to follow EMTALA’s guidelines will lead to the best national public health and safety outcomes. It is within the federal government’s power and responsibility to ensure state restrictions on emergency abortion care do not interfere with national protections for emergency department screening and stabilization.
Emergency Room to the Courtroom: Providing Abortion Care Under EMTALA and State Abortion Bans,
Dick. L. Rev.
Available at: https://ideas.dickinsonlaw.psu.edu/dlr/vol128/iss1/9