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Report: Emergency abortions may soon be allowed again in Idaho

Murphy Woodhouse
Mountain West News Bureau

Idaho’s U.S. Supreme Court challenge to a federal law regarding the availability of abortions in emergency rooms may fail, according to an exclusive report by Bloomberg.

The news outlet reports it obtained a copy of an opinion briefly uploaded to the court’s website Wednesday morning.

The inadvertent release is no longer available online. It is unclear if the opinion obtained by Bloomberg is a final ruling by the nation’s highest court.

According to Bloomberg, the decision would reinstate a lower court order allowing emergency abortions under a law known as EMTALA, or the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act.

The news outlet reports said the majority of the justices will dismiss the case as “improvidently granted,”which means they believe the court shouldn’t have taken on the appeal of that case.

A court spokesperson confirmed the inadvertent posting to NBC News, but didn't elaborate as to whether or not the opinion was a draft, a final ruling or neither.

Idaho’s strict abortion law only allows medical providers to perform the procedure in cases of reported rape, incest or when the life of the mother is threatened.

Doctors here have argued for more than a year that the state’s law is too vague to understand at what point the mother’s life is in danger in order to avoid a possible felony conviction and the suspension of their license if they were to act.

A lower federal court ruling narrowly tailored an injunction allowing for such emergency abortions in 2022. But the U.S. Supreme Court lifted that ban when it agreed to hear the case this past January.

It’s unclear when the official opinion will be released by court officials.

Copyright 2024 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.