DC, Maryland AGs join multistate effort against laws restricting emergency abortion care

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the nationwide right to an abortion, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh joined 19 attorneys general who filed briefs supporting federal efforts to protect the right to emergency abortion services.

The first brief was in support of the federal government’s position in a suit filed by the state of Texas against Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra’s emergency abortion guidance. A second brief was filed by the federal government against Idaho’s abortion ban.

Both cases, Frosh said in a release, are harmful to the emergency care of people dealing with pregnancy.

“Texas’ and Idaho’s attempts to remove abortion care from emergency health services violate federal law and will put the health and safety of thousands of women at risk.” Frosh said. “We support the federal government’s efforts to ensure that emergency health care, including abortion, remains available to women throughout our country.”

Briefs signed by the attorneys general argued that there is an increased risk for the health of those “with pregnancy-related emergency medical conditions.”

They also argue that all emergency departments participating in Medicare are required to comply with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which requires public access to emergency services despite payment issues.

“Many patients seek emergency medical care due to pregnancy-related medical emergencies that may require abortion care, including ectopic pregnancy, hemorrhage, amniotic fluid embolism, pre-labor rupture of membranes, intrauterine fetal death and hypertension. If immediate treatment is not provided, these medical conditions could jeopardize patients’ health and even result in disability or death,” Frosh said.

The attorneys generals of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington state were also among those signed onto the briefs.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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