Emergency abortion Idaho ruling posted and removed from Supreme Court website: report

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the performance of emergency abortions in Idaho was briefly posted on the court’s website Wednesday before being removed, Bloomberg reported. 

Bloomberg reported the opinion that was posted sided with the Biden administration and would allow emergency abortions in Idaho when a pregnant patient’s health is at serious risk.

The Biden administration had sued the state, arguing that hospitals must provide abortions to stabilize pregnant patients in rare emergency cases when their health is at serious risk.

The state argued that its strict abortion ban does allow abortions to save a woman’s life, and doesn’t need to expand exceptions for health risks.

The ruling has not yet officially come down from the Supreme Court, and the court acknowledged that a document was inadvertently posted Wednesday.

"The Court’s Publications Unit inadvertently and briefly uploaded a document to the Court’s website. The Court’s opinion in Moyle v. United States and Idaho v. United States will be issued in due course," court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said in a statement.

The Supreme Court has a dozen cases still undecided and was scheduled to release additional rulings on Thursday and Friday this week. 

Though the justices typically issue all of their rulings by the end of June, this term they are expected to continue into early July.

The Idaho case gave the court its second major abortion dispute since the justices in 2022 overturned Roe v. Wade and allowed states to severely restrict or ban abortion.

Here is what the Idaho emergency abortion case before the Supreme Court is about: 

Idaho enacts strict abortion law

Idaho is among 14 states that ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy with limited exceptions. 

Idaho's law criminalizes all abortions in "clinically diagnosable pregnancies," but allows physicians to defend themselves in court by arguing the procedure was necessary to avert the mother's death.

The state makes it a crime with a prison term of up to five years for anyone who performs or assists in an abortion.

RELATED: Planned Parenthood announces that it will spend $40 million ahead of November's election

Department of Justice files suit against Idaho 

The Department of Justice sued Idaho in August 2022, saying the abortion ban set to take effect violated the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).

The administration argued that EMTALA requires health care providers to perform abortions for emergency room patients when needed to treat an emergency medical condition, even if doing so might conflict with a state’s abortion restrictions.

In the case over hospital emergencies, the Biden administration argued that hospitals that receive Medicare funds are required by federal law to provide emergency care, potentially including abortion, no matter if there’s a state law banning abortion.

Conflicting court decisions 

Shortly after the suit, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in Idaho agreed with the administration. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland, at the time, released a statement on the development.

"Today’s decision by the District Court for the District of Idaho ensures that women in the State of Idaho can obtain the emergency medical treatment to which they are entitled under federal law.  This includes abortion when that is the necessary treatment. As the District Court ruled, a state law that attempts to prevent a hospital from fulfilling its obligations under EMTALA violates federal law and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution," Garland said. 

However, last year the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the state and dealt a blow to the Biden administration.  But a larger contingent of 9th Circuit judges threw out the panel’s ruling and had set arguments in the case for late January.

RELATED: Abortion pill case: Supreme Court rejects limits to mifepristone access

Supreme Court allows Idaho abortion ban to go into effect amid legal fight

Anti-abortion politicians took the case to the higher court, and in January 2024, The Supreme Court allowed Idaho to enforce its strict abortion ban, even in medical emergencies while it decided on a final ruling. 

The justices heard arguments in April.

The Idaho case gave the court its second major abortion dispute since the justices in 2022 overturned Roe v. Wade and allowed states to severely restrict or ban abortion. 

President Joe Biden objected to the high court’s decision and said his administration "will continue to defend a woman’s ability to access emergency care under federal law."

Attorneys for both sides warned that the justices’ ruling could affect women and doctors far beyond Idaho, changing how emergency rooms treat patients in many other states.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Detroit and Los Angeles.