The Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday night referred questions to the White House, which declined to comment.
A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that Texas hospitals and doctors are not obligated to perform abortions under a long-standing national emergency-care law, dealing a blow to the White House's strategy to ensure access to the procedure after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion in 2022.
The federal law “does not mandate any specific type of medical treatment, let alone abortion,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit concluded, faulting the Biden administration’s interpretation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA. The law “does not govern the practice of medicine,” the court added.
The three-judge panel also faulted the Biden administration’s process of issuing its emergency-care guidance, saying that federal officials did not go through the proper rulemaking process when the administration instructed health-care providers that they were protected by EMTALA if they believed an abortion to be medically necessary. The panel further said that the federal emergency-care law did not “directly conflict” with a near-total abortion ban in effect in Texas, which was written by the state’s Republican legisl