For Immediate Release: June 27, 2024
Contect: Virginia Lucy,

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued its opinion on the consolidated cases of Idaho v. United States and Moyle v. United States today, temporarily preventing Idaho’s abortion ban from being enforced in serious health-threatening situations under the nation’s Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). In a 6-3 vote, SCOTUS dismissed the state’s appeal and returned it to the lower court to make its way again through the appellate process, punting on whether states with abortion bans can override federal law requiring hospitals to provide abortion care to patients with life-threatening pregnancy complications. 

The decision does not rule on the actual merits of the case. The lack of a clear affirmative ruling demonstrates the continued failure of the Court to uphold women’s fundamental right to live, and to be treated with humanity and dignity when accessing the health care treatment they need. As Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson eloquently noted: “[T]his Court’s stay meant that unless a doctor could actually say that the abortion was necessary to prevent a patient’s death, that doctor could no longer provide abortion care that she viewed as reasonably necessary to keep a patient from losing her uterus, going into organ failure, or avoiding any number of other serious health risks….The conflict between state and federal law still exists—in real life.”

EMTALA is a long-settled federal law that guarantees everyone the right to a range of stabilizing treatments for emergency medical conditions. For nearly 40 years, it has guaranteed that in an emergency, patients will receive the stabilizing care they need, regardless of any factor—including pregnancy. It’s a bedrock of patient rights in our country.

Along with the National Women’s Law Center and 98 other organizations, NAPAWF submitted an amicus brief detailing the barriers to medical care, reproductive healthcare, and emergency care that Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) women routinely encounter. For instance, AANHPI individuals with green cards have to wait five years before becoming eligible to enroll in Medicaid, precluding their access to basic health services and in many tragic cases, emergency life-saving care. Historic barriers and disparities would be further exacerbated without today’s decision.

NAPAWF’s Executive Director, Sung Yeon Choimorrow, issued the following statement:

“Despite the absurd and dangerous decision to allow the ban to be enforced while this case was pending, NAPAWF is relieved for this momentary reprieve not only for Idahoans, but for all of us, in need of emergency abortion care. To be clear, this decision does not fully affirm abortion care in emergencies and merely punts the decision back to the lower court, prolonging uncertainty, while the health, well-being, and bodily autonomy of every person facing abortion bans and restrictions across the country still hangs in the balance. Everyone should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies and their health without being at the mercy of the courts. 

Even without the high stakes of this decision, AAPI women already experience heightened roadblocks to reproductive care whether it be from language barriers, cultural stigma, immigration status concerns, or incomplete or nonexistent health benefits from frontline service jobs. Solid majorities of women of color, including more than three-quarters of AAPI women, agree that it isn’t enough to make abortion legal, people must be able to access abortion care when and how they need it. EMTALA saves lives, and without its protections, more people would suffer devastating, lifelong consequences that could potentially be avoided. We need to restore the federal right to abortion and ensure that abortion is affordable and accessible for EVERYONE to receive the care they want and need, on their own terms.”



The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only organization dedicated to uplifting and building power with AANHPI women and girls in the US. Employing a reproductive justice framework to guide our work, we use organizing, advocacy, and communications strategies to assert full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.