June 22, 2024

US hospitals mandated to provide abortion services if mother’s life at risk


Hospitals in the United States have been mandated to provide abortion services if mother’s life is at risk.

The federal law overrides states’ abortion bans when it comes to lifesaving care for women — and that hospitals must provide abortion services in emergency situations.

Those who deny care under those circumstances risk fines or the loss of their Medicare status, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said.

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24 left the abortion question up to individual states, but by doing so, undermined the guarantee of access to the procedure in medical emergencies and left providers without clear guidelines on when an abortion would be considered medically necessary.

Several states are attempting to ban any such care whatsoever.

“Under the law, no matter where you live, women have the right to emergency care including abortion care,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

“Today, in no uncertain terms, we are reinforcing that we expect providers to continue offering these services, and that federal law preempts state abortion bans when needed for emergency care.”

The aim is to protect health care providers “when offering legally-mandated, life- or health-saving abortion services in emergency situations,” HHS said.

Those include things like ectopic pregnancy, hypertension and preeclampsia, which some states are restricting or banning in the wake of the high court decision.

While even the most stringent state bans allow exceptions when a mother’s health is at risk, some providers have found the threat of prosecution confusing.

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