Supreme Court abortion case, Idaho v. US, is about gaining federal control over state rights

federal. Supreme Court

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this guest post are solely those of the guest author. 

The Supreme Court case Idaho v. United States is less about abortion and more about federal control over state and individual rights. Thwarted by the U.S. Supreme Court [SCOTUS] in its effort to make abortion as easy to get as possible, the left is now hoping it can get the court to restore some of the power Democrats lost in the Idaho v. United States case. The case considers whether federal law can supersede state law. In this case, whether the federal government can require states that participate in Medicare to perform abortions in violation of a state law.

“The court’s ruling could affect health care in emergency rooms in the 22 states that have imposed restrictions on abortions, particularly in the six states that – like Idaho – lack exemptions to the general ban to protect the health of the mother,” according to the SCOTUS Blog.

The court ruled two years ago in Dobbs v. Jackson that abortion regulation is the purview of the states. However, the Biden administration is now attempting to rob states of that legislative right similar to what Roe v. Wade did in 1973, but this time using the power of the purse string.

READ: Pro-abortion lawmakers move to repeal Comstock Act, protect mail-order abortion pills

During oral arguments at the Supreme Court, certain conservative justices expressed concern that the implications of a decision favoring the federal government on abortion will impact issues beyond the abortion issue to include things like transgender treatments. This could send the U.S. down a legal slippery slope where issues that should fall under state control per the 10th Amendment will be absconded by the federal government through its control over billions of dollars in various program funding. So many organizations and programs are dependent on federal funds such that losing those funds would jeopardize access to those services, forcing states to carry the political water of those in control of the federal government, further distancing the voice of the people from meaningful home rule or state representation.

Sadly, it is not something new for the federal government to use the power of the purse to control actions. Entitlement programs do little to help people and instead exacerbate the cycle of government dependence, the fear of the loss of those benefits drives those in receipt to vote. Student loans not only inflate the cost of education but make millions of college students financially obligated to the government so that the party that promises to reduce that debt can use that as a lever to pull more votes.

Financial codependence notwithstanding, these programs were not designed to subvert state laws.

But the federal government is using the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which ensures that all patients have access to emergency services without regard to their ability to pay for those services, as its weapon to hold those states hostage to a radical abortion agenda.

The law “provides that when someone with an ‘emergency medical condition’ comes to a hospital that participates in federal Medicare reimbursement, the hospital must offer the treatment necessary to stabilize that condition,” according to the SCOTUS Blog.

The Biden Administration is arguing that abortion is a treatment necessary to stabilize an emergency medical condition. It is worth noting that Idaho’s law does not ban abortion in the extremely rare case that continued pregnancy would cause imminent death to the mother. Absurdly, lower courts agreed with the premise that general abortion access needed to be permitted wherever federal funding is received, even when contrary to the laws of that state.

A ruling is expected any day. And should the Supreme Court side with the U.S. in this case, it could generate an untold number of challenges based on exceptions to the law rather than the vast number of women and babies abortion regulations protect. While exceptions can be made to law on a case-by-case basis, rule by exception unnecessarily complicates and weakens the rule of law.

If enough people in Idaho believe that the abortion laws in their state are too strict or burdensome, then they need to vote for representation to change the law. That is what the Dobbs decision was all about. Instead, the Biden administration, knowing they don’t have the political will to change the laws, is acting like a spoiled child demanding the judiciary do it for them. That’s how pro-abortion politicians did it in 1973. And they are hoping to do it again. Let’s hope SCOTUS doesn’t fall for the trick again and instead reinforces states’ rights and the legislative process.

Bio: Rev. James R. Harden, M.Div. is the CEO of CompassCare Pregnancy Services and lives outside of Rochester, NY with his wife and ten children. Jim pioneered the first measurable and repeatable medical model in the pregnancy center movement, helping hundreds of centers nationwide become more effective at reaching more women and saving more babies from abortion. He has written extensively on medical ethics, executive leadership, and pro-life strategy.

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