What a Supreme Court decision on abortion in Idaho means in Utah

Jun 27, 2024, 4:41 PM | Updated: Jun 28, 2024, 8:09 am

FILE: The Planned Parenthood Salt Lake Health Center in Salt Lake City is pictured on Tuesday, June...

FILE: The Planned Parenthood Salt Lake Health Center in Salt Lake City is pictured on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that, at least for now, hospitals in Idaho may provide emergency abortions.

The case went before the high court when, according to the Associated Press, the Biden administration sued and asked Idaho to allow abortions in situations where the mother’s health was jeopardized.

More specifically, the court’s ruling directs hospitals in Idaho which receive federal funding to allow emergency abortion care “to stabilize patients,” reported the Washington Post.

Attorneys for Idaho argued its law already allowed abortions in cases where the mother’s life was at risk. 

How the court’s ruling in Idaho impacts Utah

Thursday’s ruling reaffirms the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, said Shireen Ghorbani, the chief corporate affairs officer for the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

“The US Supreme Court had the opportunity to be clear that this federal law, EMTALA requires emergency care for pregnant people, including abortion in every state, regardless of what a state’s abortion ban is,” Ghorbani told KSL NewsRadio.

Should they be a person who is pregnant having a complicated pregnancy, a miscarriage, they cannot be denied care, regardless of a state’s abortion bans.”

Ghorbani said the court’s affirmation applies to similar cases, and hospitals, in Utah.

Utah and Idaho are similar in that both states enacted “trigger bans,” or state laws restricting abortion should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. The high court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022.

In both Utah and Idaho, trigger laws intended to restrict abortion access if Roe v. Wade were overturned, are being challenged in court. 

“I think it’s really important for Utahns to know that abortion remains legal up to 18 weeks in our state,” Ghorbani said.

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What a Supreme Court decision on abortion in Idaho means in Utah