President Joe Biden, who has had more initiatives overturned by federal courts than any president in history, suffered another loss this week when a judge ruled against the White House’s attempt to force hospitals in Texas to provide “emergency abortions” regardless of state laws.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and State Attorney General Ken Paxton opposed Biden’s attempt to force Texas to provide abortion services. Both leaders are ardent pro-life supporters and applauded the Supreme Court’s June reversal of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
Following the SCOTUS ruling, Texas tightened restrictions on abortion services that prompted the Biden administration to attempt to intervene and overrule a matter the Supreme Court determined states had the authority to decide.
The administration attempted to use the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to offer “guidance” to Texas via a peculiar interpretation of a decades-old Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act provision.
The guidance would in effect, force Texas hospitals to provide abortion services.
Paxton responded by filing a lawsuit against the HHS on July 14. At the time, Paxton said that the guidance forces hospitals and doctors to commit crimes and risk their medical licenses under Texas state law.
U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix sided with Paxton in the case, noting that the HHS overstepped its authority in requiring Texas to adhere to their guidance concerning abortion services.
The Epoch Times noted that the ruling would only have a local impact — it only bars Biden administration officials from imposing their interpretation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act to overrule state laws in Texas.
Hendrix noted that the HHS guidance was an overstep:
“That guidance goes well beyond EMTALA’s text, which protects both mothers and unborn children, is silent as to abortion, and preempts state law only when the two directly conflict,” he wrote in the ruling. “Since the statute is silent on the question, the Guidance cannot answer how doctors should weigh risks to both a mother and her unborn child. Nor can it, in doing so, create a conflict with state law where one does not exist.”
Hendrix ruled that the EMTALA was not intended to force a doctor to provide care for the mother at the expense of the child, arguing that it was possible to attempt to do both.
Hendrix wrote that the guidance offered by the HHS “directly conflicts with the doctor’s ongoing duty to provide care for both the mother and the unborn child when stabilizing a pregnant woman.”
Hendrix added: “Because the doctor has a duty to both, EMTALA does not require the doctor to introduce an emergency medical condition to one in order to stabilize the other. Again, EMTALA does not say how to balance both interests. It leaves that determination to the doctor, who is bound by state law.”
The White House issued a statement after Hendrix’s ruling on Wednesday. House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wrote:
“Today’s decision is a blow to Texans. Texas filed this suit to ensure that it can block medical providers from providing life-saving and health-preserving care.”
Jean-Pierre also claimed that women in Texas will now be “denied this vital care.”
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