Appeals Court Lifts Partial Block on Abortion Ban

( – A US federal appeals court lifted a lower court ruling on September 28 that prohibited the State of Idaho from enforcing different aspects of its abortion ban. The order issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted Idaho’s officials a request to place the injunction against the rule, while the state appealed the decision of the lower court judge.

According to different reports, the ruling represents a major setback to the White House’s attempt to leverage a federal law that requires emergency room care as a way to mitigate the impact of the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v Wade. Back in August, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Idaho, as it argued that the state’s “radical” abortion law could discourage physicians from providing this procedure to patients who need to preserve their health or life.

US District Court Judge Lynn Winmill agreed that Idaho’s abortion law seemed to run afoul of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which was approved in 1986. Winmill, who was appointed during former President Bill Clinton’s administration, granted a temporary injunction that bans the enforcement of abortion restrictions on hospitals and healthcare providers when the life of the patient is at risk.

Nevertheless, the 9th Circuit panel announced that the Supreme Court of Idaho has since clarified its interpretation of the state’s statute, meaning that the two laws are no longer in conflict. Judges Lawrence Vandyke, Kenneth Lee, and Bridget Bade wrote in an order that the Idaho Supreme Court clarified that the exception applies if a doctor believes that an abortion needs to be made to prevent a patient’s death.

The appeals court decision doesn’t address significant health concerns that might not be life-threatening but may need an abortion. This stay isn’t a final decision, and the appeal could eventually be reassigned to a different panel for a final resolution.

According to some media outlets, the Department of Justice could formally ask an appeals court’s judge panel to reconsider the stay.

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