MD AG Frosh Joins Two Multi-state Briefs in Defense of Emergency Care Including Abortion


Maryland AG Brian Frosh has joined a multi-state coalition of 21 attorneys general in filing briefs supporting the federal government in two actions in which women’s right to emergency healthcare are threatened – including abortion.

One is against Texas’ attempt to broadly exempt abortion care from emergency healthcare. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued guidance reiterating EMTALA’s existing obligations that require hospitals to provide stabilizing emergency treatment, including abortion.  Texas filed a lawsuit, Texas v. Becerra, challenging EMTALA’s longstanding interpretation and seeking to remove abortion care from emergency healthcare under the law.

The second supports the federal government’s motion for preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of Idaho’s near total ban on abortion. In 2020, Idaho enacted S.B. 1385, which criminalizes all abortions and imposes prison time on anyone who performs, assists, or attempts to perform an abortion – even in the context of emergency care.  The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit challenging Idaho’s ban.

The briefs also argue that allowing Texas and Idaho to ban abortion care in medical emergencies risks significant strain on other state health systems.  Emergency rooms in other states that protect abortion will be forced to absorb the resulting out-of-state patient need for emergency medical care, all while the states continue to wrestle with an ongoing global pandemic and new public health crisis.

Delaware is a part of the filing as well.