Texas sues Biden administration over abortion guidance

Southwest

AUSTIN, TX – MAY 14: Pro-choice supporters rally for reproductive rights at the Texas Capitol on May 14, 2022. On May 2, 2022 Politico published a leaked draft Supreme Court majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Womens Health Organization that explicitly overturns Roe v. Wade, which would reverse constitutional protections for abortion across the nation. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas (NewsNation) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the Biden administration’s guidance that abortions be provided in emergencies if the life of the mother is at risk.

“By this move, the Biden administration seeks to transform every emergency room in the country into a walk-in abortion clinic,” said Paxton. 

The Biden administration’s guidance would apply even in states that otherwise would block the procedure. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reaffirmed that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)  protects providers when offering legally mandated, life- or health-saving abortion services in emergency situations. 

Additionally, administration officials said the federal government can penalize doctors or hospitals that fail to provide care in those circumstances.

The guidance from the administration came as dozens of states enact strict abortion bans in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. Some states make explicit exceptions for the health and life of a mother, but others don’t.

This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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