Attorney General Bonta Remains Committed to Protecting Reproductive Healthcare Providers and People Seeking Reproductive Healthcare

Thursday, June 27, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Idaho v. U.S.  that it would not decide whether the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), a federal law, requires hospitals to provide necessary abortion care to pregnant people experiencing medical emergencies irrespective of any conflicting State law. Every hospital in the United States that operates an emergency department and participates in Medicare is subject to EMTALA. Under the law, emergency departments are required to provide all patients who have an emergency medical condition with the treatment required to stabilize their condition. Yet Idaho’s radical abortion ban, which came into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision overturning Roe v. Wade, criminalized the very abortion care required by EMTALA. Idaho’s law allows only those abortions necessary to prevent a pregnant patient’s death, and so subjects healthcare providers who provide the broader swath of medically necessary emergency abortion care required by EMTALA to criminal prosecution and loss of their license. Instead of deciding whether Idaho’s law impermissibly prohibits emergency abortion care required by EMTALA, the Supreme Court will allow the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to decide the issue in the first instance. The Supreme Court also decided today that it will allow a preliminary injunction entered by the district court in Idaho to go into effect. For now, that preliminary injunction prevents Idaho from enforcing its ban with respect to emergency abortion care covered by EMTALA.  

“Today’s ruling ensures that, at least for now, pregnant patients facing medical emergencies in Idaho cannot be denied health-preserving abortion care,” said Attorney General Bonta. “But today’s decision is at best a temporary reprieve for pregnant patients and physicians in Idaho and any other State with a ban on abortion care. The battle to protect access to reproductive healthcare remains as this case and others continue, and as anti-abortion extremists work to undermine Americans’ most basic and fundamental reproductive rights. Our message to all who seek or provide reproductive healthcare is clear: California welcomes and supports you. We will continue to fight for every individual’s right to make their own healthcare decisions and reaffirm our commitment to making our state a beacon of reproductive freedom to every individual across this country.” 

The Attorney General remains committed to supporting, expanding, and protecting reproductive freedom. In April, the Attorney General issued guidance to remind medical providers, staff, and volunteers from states with near-total abortion bans of their rights and protections when providing reproductive healthcare under California state law. For more information on your reproductive rights in California, please click here. To report potential violations of EMTALA, please click here.

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