Governor Healey of Massachusetts issues executive order requiring hospitals to perform “emergency abortions”
Governor Healey of Massachusetts issues executive order requiring hospitals to perform “emergency abortions”

By JENNIFER NUELLE, DCNF. Photo: Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey issued an executive order on Monday in response to Idaho’s abortion ban requiring hospitals to perform “emergency abortions.”

The executive order issued by Healey’s office provides protections for doctors and out-of-state travelers coming to Massachusetts for an abortion. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Idaho’s abortion ban in the coming days, deciding whether abortion procedures are protected by a federal law that requires doctors to provide “emergency” medical treatment.

The administration also expects insurers to cover abortions and the state to provide professional liability insurance for health care workers who work in reproductive facilities, the executive order said.

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Hospitals and caregivers must comply with state and federal laws governing the Federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which guarantees the public access to emergency medical care regardless of their ability to pay. Hospitals that do not comply with EMTALA risk losing their license.

In April 2023, Healey stockpiled a supply of the abortion drug mifepristone in response to a Texas federal court ruling, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that blocked FDA approval of the drug.

“Medication abortion is safe, effective and legal… here in Massachusetts, we will not allow an extremist judge in Texas to turn back the clock on this proven medicine and restrict access to care in our state,” Healey said in an April 2023 press release.

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On June 13, the Supreme Court rejected an attempt by several doctors and pro-life medical groups to challenge the FDA’s rollback of safety regulations for mifepristone after a federal appeals court partially restricted access to the drug.

Idaho’s abortion ban states that a person who performs or attempts an abortion can be sentenced to a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years in prison unless the abortion is performed to save the life of the mother.

The abortion ban without exceptions was created in 2020 as part of a trigger law that was set to take effect after the Roe v. Wade ruling was overturned in 2022. In July 2023, the Idaho legislature replaced the trigger ban’s existing defense provisions with exceptions and changed the definition of abortion, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.

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Republican states have followed Idaho’s example and introduced a ban on abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy.

In October, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the state’s six-week abortion ban should remain in place. Texas implemented a similar ban in 2021, and the following year the state reportedly saw over 16,000 more births.

Healey’s office did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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First published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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