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September 22, 2023

Legal Challenges to Strict Abortion Laws Continue to Mount

A series of new cases raises questions about legal limits to state legislative authority to pass total or near-total abortion bans.  In Tennessee and Idaho state courts, patients and physicians contend that the state laws implementing total, near-total, or six week bans on abortions violate rights guaranteed in their respective state constitutions, especially when uncertainty arises about treating pregnancies with emergent medical conditions.  Similarly, a patient in Oklahoma filed a complaint  with HHS contending that two Oklahoma hospitals that failed to abort a life-threatening molar pregnancy violated her rights under Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd.  These cases seek to build on a recent victory in Texas, where a state district court enjoined the state’s enforcement of its abortion ban in similar circumstances.  That injunction has been stayed pending appeal. 

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