California Attorney General Rob Bonta Joins Multistate Amicus Brief Challenging Idaho Abortion Law

By Angelina Sang and Ivan Villegas

OAKLAND, CA – Two weeks ago California Attorney General Rob Bonta joined 21 other state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to file legal action against Idaho’s near total ban on abortion.

After the Supreme Court overruled Roe v Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Idaho’s Senate Bill 1385 was automatically set to take effect on Aug. 25 – the bill creates a near total ban on abortion, and criminalizes all types of abortion as well as performing, assisting, or attempting to perform an abortion, all punishable with jail time.

The DoJ argues the Idaho law conflicts with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which requires medical providers to provide medically necessary treatment to pregnant individuals needing abortion care.

“Let’s be clear: Whether in an outpatient setting or in an emergency room, abortion care is healthcare,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Idaho’s radical ban on abortion, even in cases of medical emergency, unconscionably endangers the lives and health of pregnant people in Idaho and beyond.”

Bonta added, “Federal law protects an individual’s right to access lifesaving emergency healthcare—including abortion. That’s why we’re supporting U.S. DOJ’s challenge to Idaho’s abortion ban. California is a staunch defender of reproductive choice, and will continue to defend the right of all people to access lifesaving healthcare, including abortion.”

The amicus brief agrees with the U.S. DoJ argument, that the Idaho law conflicts with EMTALA and threatens the health and lives of pregnant patients, and adds that it could have significant effects on other states’ health care systems.

The brief argues neighboring states without similar bans will be on the receiving end of an out-of-state patient drive to receive abortion care, all the while dealing with a pandemic and other public health crisis.

In filing this brief, AG Bonta joins forces with the attorneys general of New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington, and Washington, D.C.

About The Author

Angelina is a junior at UCSB from San Carlos, California studying Psychological and Brain Sciences and History pursuing a pre-law track.

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