June 27, 2024


Augusta, Maine –– Following the news that the United States Supreme Court reinstated a lower court ruling temporarily allowing abortions in medical emergencies in Idaho, as required by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, Maine Family Planning President and CEO George A. Hill released the following statement:

“It’s outrageous that access to medical treatment necessary to save someone’s life is even under debate, but today’s decision only delays that important clarification. While the Supreme Court will temporarily allow patients in Idaho to get the care they need, as required by federal law, the Court chose not to make clear that federal law protects the right to an abortion in medical emergencies nationwide, even in states with abortion bans. Meanwhile, pregnant people across the country who have medical emergencies remain in legal limbo while the Courts decide if their doctors should be allowed to provide basic care to prevent serious harm or death.”

“Regardless of whether the Courts decide hospitals must comply with federal law, Idaho’s abortion ban is cruel and inhumane, and a preview of what’s to come if extremist anti-abortion advocates are successful in undermining access to abortion care nationwide. We urge you to call your legislators, support your local clinics and local abortion funds, and commit to unconditional reproductive autonomy.”

Congress passed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) in 1986 to prevent hospitals from refusing care for uninsured patients. The law requires hospital emergency departments to stabilize a patient whose life or health is at risk, including providing abortion care, as a condition for receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds. Idaho’s abortion ban bars abortion even in medical emergencies, and the state argues they can ignore EMTALA and prevent providers from providing emergency abortion care.


About Maine Family Planning

Maine Family Planning is a statewide, private, not-for-profit organization founded more than 50 years ago to assure access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services for Maine people regardless of their ability to pay. As the statewide grantee for both federal and state funds, Maine Family Planning subcontracts with other sexual and reproductive health care providers to assure access through a total of 61 clinical sites, including 18 Maine Family Planning sites, four Planned Parenthood of Northern New England health centers, eight school-based health centers, and 31 Federally Qualified Health Centers. In 2023, Maine’s Family Planning Network served nearly 36,000 people. Learn more at mainefamilyplanning.org