Jun 27, 2024

Governor Newsom expresses momentary relief that Idaho abortion ban won’t interfere in case of emergencies, warns of fight ahead

What you need to know: The U.S. Supreme Court today reinstated a lower court order that ensures hospitals in Idaho can perform emergency services, including abortions, to save the life of a pregnant patient. The Court declined, however, to make clear once and for all that federal law protects pregnant patients in emergency settings, leaving uncertainty across the country about whether hospitals outside of Idaho must provide abortion care in emergency settings.

Sacramento, California – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom expressed momentary relief that the U.S. Supreme Court reversed its early action to block a lower court order that had ensured hospitals in Idaho can perform emergency services, including abortions, to save the life of a pregnant patient. While the Court’s decision today to step out of the way will allow Idaho women to get the life-saving care they need in emergency rooms – for now – the Court did not affirm that abortion bans should always be preempted by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). A decision in favor of the federal government would have ensured that EMTALA, the federal protection that requires hospitals to provide emergency care to pregnant patients, including abortion care, supersedes all state abortion bans.

“Today’s decision is a temporary relief, but the chaos the Supreme Court unleashed two years ago continues. The Court should never have let this radical and illegal Idaho abortion ban be enforced in the first place. Republicans are unfettered in their quest to control women and their bodies. In California, we will never allow dangerous political stunts to put your safety in jeopardy and we will fight like hell to protect reproductive rights — no matter what.”

Governor Gavin Newsom

“Today’s Supreme Court decision provides another short moment of relief for women in this country. But no matter the ruling or legislation, California will not allow the fate of women to rest solely in the hands of those who seek to control women’s bodies. We will continue to safeguard women’s basic health care and human rights.”

Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Bigger picture: Today’s ruling does not impact patients in California, where doctors are always legally empowered to put the safety of their patients first. California has also already taken multiple actions to protect patients in states with extreme abortion bans. 

California by the numbers: 

Since the reversal of Roe v. Wade:

  • Governor Newsom has invested more than $240 million to protect and expand access to reproductive health care in California.
  • California providers performed over 12,000 more abortions than expected – seeing an 11.2% increase in the number of abortions performed in June 2023 alone (compared to April 2022).
  • 242,113 people have visited Abortion.CA.Gov, with 56.1% of people being from outside of California.

California’s efforts to protect reproductive rights: Under Governor Newsom and the Legislature’s leadership, California has been a national leader in protecting and expanding access to reproductive health care. In the 2 years since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Governor Newsom, in partnership with the California Legislature, has built California into a national leader for reproductive freedom and expanded the fight nationwide through the 23-Governor Reproductive Freedom Alliance.

Governor Newsom will continue to coordinate and collaborate with the Reproductive Freedom Alliance members as anti-abortion attacks increase in severity and frequency. The Reproductive Freedom Alliance has held several convenings to facilitate proactive and swift coordination across reproductive freedom states, helping members to put up effective firewalls to protect and expand access to reproductive care. 

People seeking abortion care or information about reproductive health care in California, should visit Abortion.CA.Gov.