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Emergency Abortions Are Protected, For Now, SCOTUS Sends Case Back To Lower Courts

June 27, 2024
Contact: Emma Bittner
(972) 510-3395 |

Emergency Abortions Are Protected, For Now, SCOTUS Sends Case Back To Lower Courts

(Washington, DC) –  Today, the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed Idaho’s attempt to prevent emergency room doctors from performing medically necessary abortions. This is the second case this term that sought to further limit access to abortion. 

The Court’s decision allows the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) to remain fully enforceable in Idaho, despite the state’s strict abortion ban. EMTALA requires hospitals to provide medically necessary care to stabilize patients in emergencies and, per the Biden-Harris Administration’s clarification, applies when abortion is necessary to stabilize a patient. Following a leaked opinion, the ruling maintains current access to abortion in an emergency. However, the Court does not directly rule in support of abortion rights.

For now, states, even with restrictions and near-total bans, must provide emergency abortions when medically necessary.

In response, Kristin McGuire, Executive Director at Young Invincibles, said: 

“Access to safe abortion care is a cornerstone of reproductive and emergency care. This dismissal avoids a dangerous scenario where states, Idaho and alike, could deny patients life-saving abortions in emergency rooms, but it is not a victory. This is not a ruling upholding a right to safe emergency reproductive care, rather a delay to a more substantive decision. We must keep taking steps to make abortion available for anyone who needs one.”


Young Invincibles (YI) is a national advocacy and policy nonprofit organization focused on amplifying the voice of young people in the political process at the local, state, and federal levels. YI focuses on issues impacting young adults ages 18 to 34 in higher education, health care, economic security, and civic engagement. Our offices include Washington, D.C., California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Texas. For more information, please contact Emma Bittner at (972) 510-3395 or