Alliance Defending Freedom Wins 5th Circuit Appeal Against Biden Administration Abortion Overreach

Alliance Defending Freedom Wins 5th Circuit Appeal Against Biden Administration Abortion Overreach

Alliance Defending Freedom is celebrating a major victory for pro-life advocates after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled on Tuesday that the Biden administration cannot force doctors to perform abortions under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).

The case, State of Texas v. Becerra, was filed after the Department of Health and Human Services under the Biden administration issued guidance that EMALTA’s requirement to stabilize patients included providing elective abortions in emergency rooms. ADF attorneys representing the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations sued to block the guidance alongside the state of Texas.

What is Alliance Defending Freedom?

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, marriage and family, and the sanctity of life. 

Founded in 1994, ADF has played roles in 74 Supreme Court legal victories related to religious freedom, free speech, and sanctity of life issues. They work to protect rights through the legal system on behalf of their clients.

Alliance Defending Freedom Church Alliance and Alliance Defending Freedom Ministry Alliance are ministry arms of Alliance Defending Freedom, providing legal resources to churches of all denominations related to religious liberty issues they may face.

In the ruling, the three-judge panel unanimously stated that EMALTA does not mandate any specific treatment, let alone abortion. 

In their ruling, the judges wrote, “We agree with the district court that EMTALA does not provide an unqualified right for the pregnant mother to abort her child, especially when EMTALA imposes equal stabilization obligations.” 

“The question before the court is whether EMTALA, according to HHS’s Guidance, mandates physicians to provide abortions when that is the necessary stabilizing treatment for an emergency medical condition. It does not. We therefore decline to expand the scope of EMTALA,” the ruling stated. 

ADF Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Ryan Bangert, who argued before the court, said in a statement on Alliance Defending Freedom Media that hospitals, especially emergency rooms, are tasked with preserving life and that the 5th Circuit had “correctly ruled that the federal government has no business transforming them into abortion clinics.”

“Doctors shouldn’t be forced to break the Hippocratic Oath, and they shouldn’t have to choose between violating their deeply held beliefs or facing stiff financial penalties and being barred from the Medicare program. Emergency room physicians can, and do, treat life-threatening conditions such as ectopic pregnancies. But elective abortion is not life-saving care—it ends the life of the unborn child—and the government has no authority to force doctors to perform these dangerous procedures. We are pleased that the courts are allowing emergency rooms to fulfill their primary function—saving lives,” Bangert stated. 

EMTALA was meant to provide emergency stabilizing care for both mother and unborn child alike. 

The 5th Circuit panel stood up for reason, conscience, and the democratic right of Texans to protect the unborn. Far from an “equal right” for the mother to destroy her child, the court recognized EMTALA’s purpose is preserving both lives.

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