6,000 doctors call on Supreme Court to protect emergency abortions

Almost 6,000 doctors called on the Supreme Court to protect emergency abortions, urging it to uphold a federal law recently challenged by Idaho.

Nearly 6,000 physicians from all around the country penned a letter Wednesday asking the nation’s highest court to uphold protections for patients who are experiencing complications and need emergency abortion care.

“We call on the Supreme Court to uphold guaranteed access to medical care for all patients when they walk into an emergency department under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA),” the medical professionals said in the letter.

“No patient should be denied access to emergency care, including people who need an abortion. We know firsthand how complications from pregnancy can lead very quickly to a medical crisis, requiring immediate care and treatment.”

The letter, which was signed by doctors across various specialties, was organized by Committee to Protect Health Care (CTP), a national health care advocacy group that has thousands of members working in the field.

The effort from CTP comes as the Supreme Court heard the U.S. v. Idaho case last month.

In that case, the Department of Justice (DOJ) argued EMTALA requires hospitals that take Medicare funds to provide patients with treatment in an emergency, including abortion. Idaho has argued the state had already set its own standard and that the law does not mention abortion.

“In these states, without the protections of this national law, a woman would be denied care at an emergency department even though her organs are shutting down due to a ruptured placental membrane,” the physicians said in the letter. “Patients would be turned away from emergency departments because they have an ectopic pregnancy that endangers their lives.”

“These horrifying and heartbreaking scenarios are all too real — and can be prevented, by allowing doctors and health care professionals to practice the full scope of medicine when a patient comes to our emergency departments, without political interference or the threat of prosecution.”

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