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AG Nessel Issues Statement on Supreme Court’s Decision in EMTALA Abortion Case

LANSING – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion dismissing the petitions for certiorari in Moyle v. United States and United States v. Idaho as improvidently granted. The cases involve the interplay between the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which requires Medicare-funded hospitals to provide stabilizing treatment for patients with emergency medical conditions, and Idaho’s Defense of Life Act, a post-Dobbs anti-choice law criminalizing most abortions.  

In response to the Court’s opinion, Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the follow statement: “While this decision provides a temporary cessation of a very dangerous and deadly law, this fight is far from over. Across the country, abortion opponents are continually attempting to limit women’s reproductive freedoms. We cannot let our guard down on this, or on the many other reproductive care cases pending throughout our nation’s court systems. I remain committed to combatting these efforts and protecting access to reproductive healthcare across the State.” 

The Court’s ruling reinstates the district court’s preliminary injunction, allowing hospitals in Idaho to provide emergency abortion care under EMTALA while the case plays out. 

Following the Dobbs decision, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance reaffirming that EMTALA requires providers to offer stabilizing care, including abortion care, for patients with emergency medical conditions regardless of state law. Despite this guidance, states such as Texas and Idaho have taken the position that their restrictive abortion bans trump EMTALA.  

Nessel has been an outspoken advocate for reproductive health since taking office in 2019. The Attorney General has joined in multi-state amicus briefs to support the Biden administration in Idaho v. USand has also joined coalitions seeking to preserve access to medication abortion nationwide.

As Michigan’s Attorney General, Nessel has been an outspoken advocate for reproductive freedom and supported a ballot measure to enshrine those rights into Michigan law. Once on the ballot, the proposal passed with the support of 57 percent of Michigan voters. 

Since then, anti-abortion activists have attempted legal challenges to the law. In November of 2023, Right to Life of Michigan, along with Republican lawmakers and others opposed to Michiganders’ rights to abortion, filed a federal lawsuit seeking to invalidate and enjoin Section 28 of Article 1 of the Michigan Constitution, which became the law following the passage of Proposal 3. The lawsuit names Nessel, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson as defendants and seeks to overturn the will of the People of Michigan.


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