In a letter Monday, the Biden Administration told the nation’s doctors that they must perform abortions if there is a medical emergency for the mother — regardless of what each state’s laws rule.
In a message, Gov. Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told doctors that under existing federal law, if a doctor refuses to perform an abortion on a mother who is in a medical emergency —that is, when the woman’s life is in danger—they will face criminal consequences.
According to Becerra, the federal law is above any laws that individual states may pass that restrict abortion, even in cases of a medical emergency.
Emergency medical situations covered by the law range from ectopic pregnancies to hypertension disorders, among others.
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The Secretary of the Department of Health thus responds to the request made last week by President Joe Biden when he asked members of his Administration to adopt measures to protect access to abortion.