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District Judge B. Lynn Winmill granted a pause Wednesday on the Idaho law banning nearly all abortions as it applies to emergency care at hospitals, following a challenge by the U.S. Department of Justice. The department argued the law violates the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.

The abortion ban became effective Thursday, but doctors facing emergency medical decisions are protected from penalties under the abortion ban for now with Winmill’s ruling. 

“Specifically, the state of Idaho, including all of its officers, employees, and agents, are prohibited from initiating any criminal prosecution against, attempting to suspend or revoke the professional license of, or seeking to impose any other form of liability on, any medical provider or hospital,” the ruling states, if an abortion is necessary to avoid placing the health of a pregnant patient “in serious jeopardy” or risking serious impairment to bodily functions or organs.  

Judge Lynn Winmill

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill

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