Idaho's near-total abortion ban challenged by Justice Department

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The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging Idaho’s near-total ban on abortion, arguing that it would criminalize doctors for performing abortions during medical emergencies. 

Idaho’s law is set to take effect Aug. 25 after the Supreme Court in June overturned Roe v. Wade, returning the issue of abortion to the states. 

The law bans all abortions except for cases of incest or rape that are reported to law enforcement, or when a physician determines “in his good faith medical judgment and based on the facts known to the physician at the time, that the abortion was necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman.”

People protest about abortion outside the Supreme Court in Washington.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday argued that Idaho’s law would violate the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which requires doctors to provide stabilizing treatment. 


“When a hospital determines that an abortion is the medical treatment necessary to stabilize a patient’s emergency medical condition, it is required by federal law to provide that treatment,” Garland said at a news conference. 

“Although the Idaho law

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