WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is suing Idaho, arguing that its new abortion law violates federal law because it does not allow doctors to provide medically necessary treatment, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Tuesday.
Garland said the federal government was bringing the lawsuit, which seeks to invalidate the state’s “criminal prohibition on providing abortions as applied to women suffering medical emergencies.”
The announcement is the first major action by the Justice Department challenging a state trigger law since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
The lawsuit was brought because federal prosecutors believe Idaho’s law would force doctors to violate the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, a federal law that requires anyone coming to a medical facility for emergency treatment to be stabilized and treated.
“Idaho’s law would make it a criminal offense for doctors to provide the emergency medical treatment that federal law requires,” Garland said.
Idaho, like many Republican-led states, has several anti-abortion laws on the books, creating a legal quagmire now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade.