Ever since Dobbs was handed down in June of 2022, and Roe v. Wade overturned, the Biden administration has been ransacking and distorting every available statute of federal law to promote child-killing by other means. Biden even bragged about his devotion to abortion in a list of claimed accomplishments at the end of 2023: “Took action to protect access to emergency medical care, abortion, and contraception.”
What Biden’s handlers were boasting about was their move to use the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act of 1986 to force emergency room abortions on states with laws against baby-killing. Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services, under faux femme fatale Admiral Rachel Levine, published “guidance” insisting that the 1986 law required hospital abortions even where abortions were criminal offenses. A Texas district court blocked enforcement of this “guidance” in part because the emergency room act explicitly demands consideration of the welfare of the “unborn child.”
In July of 2023, we [Life Legal Defense Foundation] filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals urging that the injunction against Admiral Levine’s mandate be upheld. Citing the statute’s explicit reference to the welfare of the unborn child, we argued that the 1986 law positively required emergency treatment of prenatal children as individuals. This interpretation would allow children harmed by violations of the emergency room law to seek legal redress. It would impose on hospitals an obligation to provide emergency care for these children – not to murder them.
We also argued that the 1986 law cannot preempt state laws against abortion – since the language of the legislation states that only “requirements” are preempted, not prohibitions or restrictions.
We were opposed by numerous pro-abortion amici – including the American Medical Association (long ago a bastion of pro-life advocacy), the city and county of San Francisco, the state of New York, and the District of Columbia. Perhaps the Biden administration was confident it would prevail in this case because of that whole library of bloodthirsty amicus briefs taking its part.
The noise of the crowd, however, availed Commander Joe and Admiral Rachel not in the least. Just yesterday – on January 2, 2024 – the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of the state of Texas and of children in the womb. It affirmed the lower court’s injunction. The decision came exactly three days after Biden’s end-of-the-year boast about what he’d done to promote the slaughter of innocents.
These sorts of victories are, of course, sweet. Our adversaries are both wicked and ridiculous. Often, as in this instance, they vastly outnumber us. Who wouldn’t want to triumph over a horde of evil clowns?
But there’s a lot more at stake here than how we feel about the outcome. In the year after pro-life laws took full effect in Texas, 10,000 fewer abortions were performed. Sticking up for these laws, and preventing pro-abortion federal officials from negating them, actually saves lives from the curettes and suction aspirators of abortionist ghouls.
The abortion cartel and its cronies are nothing if not arrogant. They cast about for any weapon they can use against babies and their defenders. In this case, the pro-aborts had the nerve to invoke a statute that manifested explicit concern for the “unborn child.” We taught them that the law has a logic of its own, quite independent of the squalid uses they think they can impose on it.