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U.S. President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

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(LifeSiteNews) – The Biden administration filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Idaho’s ban on most abortions as part of its efforts to force states to continue allowing abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court expressly affirmed and restored states’ discretion to set their own abortion policies.

In 2020, Idaho adopted a “trigger law” that would ban all abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or threats to a mother’s life, which would not go into effect until the nation’s highest court overturned Roe v. Wade, as happened in June. Under the law, abortionists could face five years in prison and suspension of their medical licenses.

In the majority opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court wrote that the U.S. Constitution “makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” and therefore it was time to “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

But the Associated Press reported that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) under President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland is attempting to argue that the Idaho law violates the federal Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTLA) by supposedly prohibiting abortions in cases of “women suffering medical emergencies.”

The law explicitly contains an exception for such cases, but the abortion lobby claims the exception is insufficient “because Idaho’s public record law doesn’t allow law enforcement agencies to release reports when a case is still under investigation — a process that generally takes weeks or months,” per the AP.

“Under the Idaho law, once effective, any state or local prosecutor can subject a physician to indictment, arrest, and prosecution merely by showing that an abortion has been performed, without regard to the circumstances,” the lawsuit claims. “The law then puts the burden on the physician to prove an ‘affirmative defense’ at trial.”

In response, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden criticized the administration for choosing a “politically motivated lawsuit” instead of reaching out to his office to learn more about the law.

“Contrary to the carefully edited assertion in paragraph 25 of the Department’s complaint that Idaho’s laws are preempted,” Wasden explained, “EMTALA actually states: ‘The provisions of this section do not preempt any State or local law requirement, except to the extent that the requirement directly conflicts with a requirement of this section.’”

Gov. Brad Little responded as well, saying, “Our nation’s highest court returned the issue of abortion to the states to regulate – end of story. The U.S. Justice Department’s interference with Idaho’s pro-life law is another example of Biden overreaching yet again while he continues to ignore issues that really should demand his attention – like crushing inflation and the open border with Mexico.”

Little vowed to “continue to work with” Wasden to “vigorously uphold state sovereignty and defend Idaho’s laws in the face of federal meddling.”

Roe’s overturn sparked the restoration or activation of scores of pro-life laws across the country, including pre-Roe bans that have gone unenforced for almost half a century, more recent measures blocked by lawsuits, and “trigger laws” designed to automatically ban abortions once Roe was gone.

In response, abortion giant Planned Parenthood quickly begun suspending abortions and/or closing locations, and pro-life attorneys general have declared their intentions to enforce their states’ duly-enacted abortion prohibitions.

But leftists prosecutors in dozens of localities have vowed not to enforce such laws, and Democrats have adopted the promotion of interstate travel for abortion to compensate for pro-life states, ensuring that work and debate will continue over the prospect of banning abortion nationally.

Biden, who faces intense pressure from the abortion lobby to do more on the issue, has called for electing more Democrats to Congress to support codifying a “right” to abortion-on-demand in federal law. His administration has also pursued executive action trying to force acceptance of some abortions in Texas and abortion-inducing drugs in pharmacies.

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