Abortion Access

Supreme Court should affirm that federal law EMTALA protects pregnant patients who need emergency abortion care

More About This Issue

Americans United for Separation of Church and State President and CEO Rachel Laser issued the following statement in advance of oral arguments tomorrow before the U.S. Supreme Court in Moyle v. U.S. and Idaho v. U.S., which involve Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requirements that hospitals provide stabilizing abortion care to pregnant patients seeking treatment during medical emergencies:

“No one should be denied emergency medical care because of someone else’s beliefs”

“No one in America should be denied emergency medical care because of someone else’s beliefs. Our Constitution’s promise of church-state separation means that all of us must be free to make our own decisions about our own bodies based on our own beliefs.

“Abortion is a fundamental right that is essential to our health, equality and freedom. But religious extremists in Idaho and across the nation are violating the separation of church and state by banning abortion and enshrining one narrow religious viewpoint into our law. We knew that the end of Roe signaled the beginning of a new wave of attacks on abortion rights and reproductive health care. That’s why we need a national recommitment to the separation of church and state. It’s the shield that protects freedom without favor and equality without exception for all of us.”

AU joined more than 100 organizations in amicus brief to SCOTUS

Americans United joined more than 100 reproductive rights, civil rights, religious and other social justice organizations in an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to affirm that EMTALA guarantees everyone the right to emergency medical treatment nationwide, including pregnant people who may require abortion care to stabilize emergency medical conditions. Idaho’s abortion ban directly conflicts with this nearly 40-year-old federal law, endangering the health and lives of pregnant people, especially Black, Indigenous and other people of color, LGBTQ+ people, people working to make ends meet and others who already face excessive barriers to health care.

The brief was spearheaded by the National Women’s Law Center. Other organizations joining the brief include American Federation of Teachers, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, National Education Association, National LGBTQ Task Force, People For the American Way Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) and many others. A full list of organizations is available here.

More information about the case is available here.

Americans United is a religious freedom advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, AU educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

Press Contact

Liz Hayes
Associate Vice President of Communications
[email protected]

Congress needs to hear from you!

Urge your legislators to co-sponsor the Do No Harm Act today.

The Do No Harm Act will help ensure that our laws are a shield to protect religious freedom and not used as a sword to harm others by undermining civil rights laws and denying access to health care.

Act Now