Judge blocks enforcement of Biden abortion guidance in Texas

Posted at 12:49 PM, Aug 24, 2022

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked the federal government from enforcing a legal interpretation that would require hospitals in the state to provide abortion services if the life of the mother is at risk.

Texas sued Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Xavier Becerra last month, arguing that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which is a federal law, doesn’t require doctors to provide abortions if doing so would violate a state law.

In a ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix temporarily blocked the government from enforcing the guidance, finding that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act “is silent as to abortion.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the decision is “a blow to Texans.”

“It’s wrong, it’s backwards, and women may die as a result. The fight is not over,” Jean-Pierre said in a prepared statement. “The President will continue to push to require hospitals to provide life-saving and health-preserving reproductive care.”

The guidance was issued in July by the Department of Health and Human Services following the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

A similar case is playing out in Idaho, with a ruling expected sometime Wednesday.