The Department of Justice released the following statement tonight from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland following the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of the ban of Idaho Abortion as Applied to Medical Care Required by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Law (EMTALA). The law, Idaho Code § 18-622, prohibits abortion even when abortion is medically necessary treatment to stabilize a patient’s emergency medical condition.

On August 2, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit challenging the law on the grounds that it is pre-empted by EMTALA. It is expected to come into effect on Thursday, August 25.

“Today’s decision by the District Court for the District of Idaho ensures that women in the state of Idaho can get the emergency medical care to which they are entitled under federal law. This includes abortion when it comes to necessary treatment. As the district court ruled, a state law that attempts to prevent a hospital from fulfilling its obligations under the EMTALA violates federal law and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution,” said the Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

“The Department of Justice will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to defend reproductive rights protected by federal law.

“The Department disagrees with yesterday’s decision of the District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which preliminarily bars the July 11, 2022 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services guidance on EMTALA and the letter d accompaniment of Secretary Becerra as applied to plaintiffs in this litigation. We are considering appropriate next steps.

The Department of Justice is committed to protecting access to reproductive services. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, the Justice Department created the Reproductive Rights Task Force, chaired by Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. The task force is charged with protecting access to reproductive freedom under federal law. For more information about the task force’s work, visit