Federal Judge in Idaho Asks Lawyers Hypothetical Questions Regarding Medical Treatment Under Idaho Pro-Life Law
Washington, D.C. – A federal judge on Monday asked lawyers representing the State of Idaho two hypothetical questions regarding real-world application of Idaho’s pro-life “trigger law,” which is scheduled to take effect this Thursday, August 25th.
In one hypothetical situation, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill asked about the legality of performing an abortion on a woman who had a 50-50 chance of dying without one. In the second hypothetical situation, Judge Winmill asked about the legality of abortion for a woman at high risk for stroke or organ damage.
Judge Winmill is currently on a fact-finding mission to reconcile Idaho’s law with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). Charlotte Lozier Institute’s analysis finds no conflict between Idaho’s law and EMTALA from either a legal or medical perspective.
Dr. Ingrid Skop, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) senior fellow and director of medical affairs, said:
“When separation of a woman and her unborn child is required due to life-threatening pregnancy complications, directly killing the child with a dilation and evacuation abortion may be a more dangerous option. The reality is that only ten percent of OB/GYNs perform abortion and dismembering a child in the womb is a very complex procedure.
“However, every OB/GYN has the skills to deliver a baby via induction or c-section. The situations described by Judge Winmill typically occur in the second half of pregnancy, when induction or c-section would deliver a baby to the modern miracle of neonatal intensive care units. Even if the baby does not survive, these humane procedures allow a grieving family to show love and say good-bye.
“Despite the Biden Administration’s claims to the contrary, Idaho’s law preserves a doctor’s ability to act in ‘good faith medical judgement’ when treating life-threatening pregnancy complications. Reasonable medical judgement is well-defined by national medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which publish dozens of medical bulletins that provide specific guidance and a national standard of care for both common and uncommon medical situations.
“The purpose of an induced abortion is to produce a dead baby. The purpose of standard obstetric treatment is to care for both patients, saving the mother’s life, while also doing everything possible to save the life of her baby.”
Dr. Skop is a board-certified OB/GYN practicing in Texas for more than 25 years. She has delivered over 5,000 babies and cared for countless women through difficult, dangerous, and traumatic pregnancies.
Dr. Skop and Mary Harned, J.D., a CLI legal scholar who previously served as an Investigative Counsel with the Select Investigative Panel of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, recently published a state-by-state analysis of every state pro-life law currently on the books, including Idaho. Their medical and legal analysis finds that every state’s pro-life law includes clear exceptions allowing medical treatment to save the life of the mother, and permits treatment for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, which can cause life-threatening complications.
Click here for CLI’s full state-by-state analysis, including relevant citations, legal analysis, and medical bulletins.
Note for legal reporters: Case citation: 1:22-cv-00329-BLW
Charlotte Lozier Institute was launched in 2011 as the education and research arm of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. CLI is a hub for research and public policy analysis on some of the most pressing issues facing the United States and nations around the world. The Institute is named for a feminist physician known for her commitment to the sanctity of human life and equal career and educational opportunities for women.