Justice Department sues Idaho over abortion ban in first post-Roe litigation


WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Tuesday arguing that Idaho's near-total abortion ban violates federal law, the Biden administration’s first litigation to protect abortion access since the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in late June.

In announcing the lawsuit, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Idaho’s ban violates federal law requiring medical providers offer emergency medical treatment

Garland announced the legal action from the Department of Justice along with Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, who leads its reproductive rights task force.

The legal action comes several weeks after Garland said the department would be advising federal agencies on their authorities when it comes to protecting access to abortions, bringing litigation and entering into lawsuits on the side of private parties with amicus briefs and statements of interest.

"The Justice Department is going to use every tool we have to ensure reproductive freedom," he told reporters and added that it would file a motion to dismiss a Texas lawsuit challenging guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services requiring medical providers offer abortions in emergency situations.

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