News Releases
June 27, 2024

BBA Expresses Relief at Dismissal of Abortion Challenge to EMTALA

Letter or Statement

We are relieved that the Supreme Court’s ruling today let stand a lower-court ruling that EMTALA, a federal law that requires hospitals to provide emergency care to people facing emergency medical conditions, preempts certain state laws that criminalize abortion. This outcome will help pregnant people who come to emergency rooms receive care, including an abortion, if their lives and health are at risk.

However, because this decision, in Moyle v. United States, does not directly address the issues in the case and only dismisses the current challenge to EMTALA, it leaves the door open for further proceedings—including a potential return to the Supreme Court. Still, as long as the Ninth Circuit’s order stands, doctors can provide medically necessary interventions in instances when those complications arise—even in states that have enacted near-total abortion bans.

As we said in response to the Court’s recent dismissal of a challenge to FDA approval of mifepristone, continued vigilance is needed to protect the rights of women to receive safe and medically appropriate care and the rights of doctors to provide it, against efforts to roll back access nationwide. That is no less true in this case, where the Court again declined to rule on the merits.

The BBA’s positions on reproductive health are guided by our Statement of Principles in that area. Most relevant today is our steadfast position that “health care providers should be able to provide all patients with medically appropriate health care consistent with their training and abilities without undue interference by government.”