Amy Coney Barrett Breaks Ranks on Supreme Court’s Dangerous EPA Ruling

“EMTALA requires hospitals to provide abortions that Idaho’s law prohibits. When that is so, Idaho’s law is preempted,” Kagan wrote. “The Court’s ruling today follows from those premises.”

Justice Samuel Alito, joined in a dissenting opinion by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, plainly disagreed with Kagan’s description, arguing that EMTALA does not “unambiguously” require Medicare-funded hospitals to provide abortions. The conservative justices also claimed that EMTALA, a federal statute, does not supersede state law or its control of local medical practices—even if that local restriction has skyrocketed the rate at which pregnant women are airlifted from hospitals to receive out-of-state care, increasing the burden and cost of care on neighboring states.

“Idaho never consented to any conditions imposed by EMTALA and certainly did not surrender control of the practice of medicine and the regulation of abortions within its territory,” Alito wrote.