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A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Biden administration cannot enforce federal guidance instructing doctors to provide abortion care in medical emergencies, no matter state law.

The suit, brought by the state of Texas in 2022, argues that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cannot cite the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) in its guidance that medical providers must provide abortion care in life-saving situations.

The HHS guidance, written just after the Supreme Court’s 2022 abortion decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, said that medical providers must both provide care when a patient cannot afford it and provide abortion care when the life of the patient is at risk.

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