Washington governor directs hospitals to provide abortions in emergency cases

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued a directive June 11 that hospitals are legally required to provide abortions in emergency cases. 

The directive requires the state's health department to "affirm that hospitals in Washington state have a legal requirement to provide emergency abortion services." The move comes ahead of a Supreme Court ruling this month that will determine whether the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act preempts Idaho's abortion ban in certain emergency circumstances. 

In response to Mr. Inslee's directive, the Washington State Hospital Association said the state's hospitals are already required to provide emergency care to patients experiencing serious pregnancy complications.

"There is no evidence that Washington hospitals are not providing appropriate emergency care," the WSHA said in a statement. 

The governor said the rule is meant to provide more clarity across the state ahead of the Supreme Court ruling. 

"Patients, for instance, whose pregnancies are no longer viable should not have to suffer Donald Trump's Supreme Court," Mr. Inslee said in a press conference. "We need to ensure patients receive this emergency care across the state of Washington, and this clarifying rule will make sure that everybody understands that." 

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