Biden’s Pro-Abortion Agenda Suffers Another Defeat
In a significant victory for the pro-life movement, a federal appeals court has blocked Joe Biden’s attempt to force Texas emergency rooms and hospitals to commit abortions. The Biden administration’s 2022 directive threatened to withhold Medicare funds from hospitals unless they performed abortions whenever it was deemed the “necessary stabilizing treatment.” While the directive claimed to focus on life-threatening circumstances, its language could have expanded abortions even when the mother’s physical life was not in danger.
A federal district judge had previously prevented Biden’s abortion mandate from taking effect in August 2022 after pro-life doctors and the state of Texas filed a lawsuit. The Biden administration appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and they just suffered a unanimous defeat.
Judges Kurt Engelhardt, Leslie Southwick, and Cory Wilson ruled that federal law does not require hospitals to commit abortions, and the Biden administration cannot use Medicare funds as leverage to force them to do so. Judge Engelhardt emphasized that the policy encourages physicians to stabilize both the mother and the preborn child, stating, “EMTALA [Emergency Medical Treatment And Labor Act] does not provide an unqualified right for the pregnant mother to abort her child, especially when EMTALA imposes equal stabilization obligations.”
Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had issued the pro-abortion mandate immediately after the reversal of Roe v. Wade. They utilized the Emergency Medical Treatment And Labor Act (EMTALA), signed by Ronald Reagan, which prevents hospitals from delaying emergency treatment for pregnant mothers or vulnerable patients. However, Biden’s directive distorted EMTALA by labeling abortion as “stabilizing treatment.”
The mandate required that if a physician believed a pregnant patient presented with an emergency medical condition, and abortion was deemed the necessary stabilizing treatment, the physician must provide that treatment. It also preempted state laws that prohibited abortion without exceptions for the life and health of the pregnant mother or defined those exceptions more narrowly than EMTALA’s definition of an emergency medical condition.
Notably, every pro-life state already allowed doctors to intervene when the mother’s life was at risk, making Biden’s pro-abortion directive unnecessary. Instead, it revealed a broader anti-life agenda at play.
This week’s ruling against the Biden administration marks a significant victory for the pro-life movement. Had Biden’s mandate taken effect, thousands of Texas babies would have faced cruel deaths through elective abortion. The decision reinforces the principle that hospitals should not be coerced into violating their moral and ethical convictions, and it upholds the sanctity of life.