(Video Credit: News 19 WLTX)
President Biden threatened to fine or strip the Medicare status of hospitals on Monday if they fail to abort a patient’s pregnancy as part of treatment in an emergency circumstance where the mother’s life is at risk.
The administration released updated guidelines that also informed physicians that they’re protected by federal law if they feel it is necessary to terminate a pregnancy in an emergency according to Politico.
According to the guidelines, if the mother’s life is in jeopardy, abortion and other procedures are protected under federal law regardless of various state bans. The mandate is apparently political grandstanding as states already have provisions to protect a mother whose life is in danger due to her pregnancy.
The announcement follows Biden signing an executive order that was put in place to ease access to abortion services following the Supreme Court overturning the landmark abortion case Roe vs. Wade.
Biden’s executive order forces hospitals to perform abortions even if they’re illegal in the state. https://t.co/Z4QfnUvQyW
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 12, 2022
1) These aren’t abortions.
2) No state law prohibits this.
This is the Biden administration pretending to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. https://t.co/1BBE1GV88Z
— Amy Curtis (@RantyAmyCurtis) July 12, 2022
The Department of Health and Human Services stated that doctors must terminate the pregnancy if the mother is experiencing an emergency medical condition as defined by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) and if abortion is a “stabilizing treatment.”
In a statement, HHS asserted that state of emergency conditions include “ectopic pregnancy, complications of pregnancy loss, or emergent hypertensive disorders, such as preeclampsia with severe features.”
“HHS to Providers: If an abortion is necessary to save a pregnant patient’s life or prevent serious jeopardy to the patient’s health, the federal laws protecting emergency care supersede any state law prohibiting abortion,” the statement contends.
We released guidance today to providers that ensures all patients who go to the emergency department for care have access to the full rights and protections for emergency care afforded under the law, which includes life- or health-saving abortion services. https://t.co/OgfP2bTDrf pic.twitter.com/zbjT2SN0vj
— HHS.gov (@HHSGov) July 11, 2022
The guidelines are not a new policy. They are a reminder for doctors and providers of their existing obligations under federal law, according to HHS.
Biden is already having his administration look into whether he has the authority to declare an abortion-related public health emergency.
In a separate letter to providers, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra noted that EMTALA protects healthcare providers’ clinical judgment regardless of the restrictions in the state where they practice.
He wrote that a physician or other qualified medical personnel’s professional and legal duty is to “provide stabilizing medical treatment … preempts any directly conflicting state law or mandate that might otherwise prohibit such treatment.”
“Today, in no uncertain terms, we are reinforcing that we expect providers to continue offering these services, and that federal law preempts state abortion bans when needed for emergency care,” Becerra declared. “Under the law, no matter where you live, women have the right to emergency care — including abortion care.”
It is. This is all theatrics.
— Sharon Fletcher (@sharonmfletcher) July 12, 2022
And they do … in every state gotta love the propaganda
— Philip Seawell (@Pheel1234) July 12, 2022
No shit Sherlock Are people that damn stupid to think that if a woman is having complications with her pregnancy that the hospital will turn her away smh This is nothing but gaslighting
— David Mitchell (@Trumpster71) July 12, 2022
“Most doctors are scared out of their minds right now because the threats they face are so severe and scary,” Greer Donnelly, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who focuses on abortion rights told Politico.
“But the government can say: You don’t just have the right to provide an abortion to someone having an emergency, you have a responsibility to do so. And even if you’re an anti-abortion doctor who doesn’t want to do it, it doesn’t matter. The hospital has to provide the patient with someone else who is willing to do it,” he continued.
Donnelly pointed out that the guidelines will have little impact unless it’s paired with tougher federal enforcement. It is a definite possibility that the federal government could bring lawsuits against hospitals or individual doctors if they don’t comply.
The president has taken direct aim at Supreme Court justices over abortion, calling them “out of control” and claiming they are working with extremist Republicans to take away Americans’ rights.
His latest moves on abortion are not fooling advocates who accuse him of not taking enough action concerning the issue.
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