In a temporary victory for abortion rights supporters, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Idaho to allow abortions in certain medical conditions, overturning a lower court that had barred the state from allowing abortions when necessary to protect the mother while it has a health care law in place almost entirely.

Here is what April Rubin reported for Axios:

The big picture: The court did not resolve the case’s central questions about how state abortion bans and federal directives on emergency health care mesh.


How it works: The case concerned Idaho’s near-total ban on abortion, which allows emergency abortions in order to save a pregnant person’s life, but not to spare them from severe health issues.


  • The Biden administration argued that abortions must be allowed in those circumstances, citing a federal law that requires emergency rooms to perform necessary care for anyone who comes through the door.
  • But the Supreme Court dismissed the case rather than ruling on the merits of that conflict between state and federal law.
  • Lower courts will continue to wrestle with those legal questions — and emergency abortions in the state can continue while that process plays out.


The latest: Thursday’s ruling would allow abortions as emergency care in Idaho, but doesn’t have bearing in other states with bans.


  • “Today’s decision is not a victory for pregnant patients in Idaho,” Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote. “It is delay.” She said the issue will return to the court.
  • Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch dissented from the court’s decision to dismiss the case.


Catch up quick: EMTALA was passed to prevent hospitals from refusing emergency care to patients who couldn’t pay.


  • The court vacated its previous stay of a lower court’s ruling, allowing Idaho to enforce its abortion ban even when terminating a pregnancy was necessary to prevent harm.
  • Idaho’s largest emergency services provider airlifted pregnant women out of the state roughly every other week compared to once the previous year, Justice Elena Kagan wrote.
To read more on the Idaho abortion issue from this article, click HERE.