WASHINGTON (AP) — Two hospitals that refused to provide an emergency abortion to a pregnant woman who was experiencing premature labor put her life in jeopardy and violated federal law, a first-of-its-kind investigation by the federal government has found.
The competing edicts have been rolled out since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion last year.
But federal law, which requires doctors to treat patients in emergency situations , trumps those state laws, the nation’s top health official said in a statement.
“I felt like I was responsible to do something, to say something, to not have this happen again to another woman.
President Joe Biden’s administration has prodded hospitals not to turn away patients in those situations, even when state law forbids abortions.
Weeks after the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Democratic administration reminded hospitals that federal law requires them to offer an abortion when a pregnant woman is at risk for an emergency medical condition.
The federal government can investigate hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid money — which encompasses most facilities in the U.S. — for violations of the law. »