Debevoise and Democracy Forward File Amicus Brief in Support of the Federal Right to Emergency Care, Including Abortion

29 March 2024

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Democracy Forward have filed an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf leading medical organizations in support of the federal government in the consolidated cases of Idaho v. United States and Moyle v. United States. The brief argues for continued access to emergency abortion care under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which requires Medicare-funded hospitals to treat anyone who comes to the ER experiencing an emergency medical condition with stabilizing care. The brief discusses how Idaho’s criminalization of conduct required by EMTALA places clinicians in an untenable situation of risking criminal liability if they follow their expertise, training, and ethical obligations. It also discusses the clinician exodus that Idaho’s law has created, and the impacts that it is already having on the availability of care for people throughout Idaho. The case will be heard by the Supreme Court on April 24th.

The brief was filed together with Democracy Forward on behalf of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the American College of Emergency Physicians; the American Medical Association, and 20 other medical and public health societies. This brief was filed alongside 26 other briefs representing a broad coalition of major medical organizations, physicians, people who have been denied critical health- and life-saving emergency abortion care, former HHS officials, Members of Congress, states, cities, counties, prosecutors, public health experts, legal scholars, businesses, advocates for disability rights, survivors of intimate partner violence, abortion funds, and more than 100 gender justice, reproductive rights, health justice, disability rights, civil rights, and labor organizations.

The Debevoise team is led by litigation partner Shannon Rose Selden and associate Adam Aukland-Peck. Briefing of these issues in the lower courts has included associates Leah Martin, Maureen Mentrek, Prakriti Luthra, Hillary Hubley, Isabelle Canaan, Elise Coletta, Emily Morgan and Ned Terrace.