The Supreme Court issued a ruling today in Moyle v. United States, dismissing the case from the Supreme Court docket without a ruling on the merits, and sending it back down to continue in the lower courts. While the opinion temporarily restores the ability of doctors in Idaho to provide emergency abortions required under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), by dismissing Idaho’s appeal without resolving the core issues in the case, SCOTUS will only continue to put pregnant patients at unnecessary risk. 

Abortion remains legal in Massachusetts because the state legislature worked with the ACLU and other advocates to codify the right to abortion into state law and to pass best-in-the-nation protections for abortion providers and patients. The Healey-Driscoll administration this week signed a new executive order to protect access to emergency abortion care in Massachusetts. 

People seeking or providing abortion care in Massachusetts can contact the Abortion Legal Hotline, a free and confidential resource to connect Massachusetts-based health care patients, providers, and helpers obtaining care in the state with free legal advice and resources about abortion access and care. 

Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, issued the following statement in response to the decision by the Supreme Court: 

“The Supreme Court opened Pandora’s box when it overturned Roe v. Wade two years ago, and it’s now struggling to close it. The Court had a chance to hold that pregnant people have the basic right to emergency abortion care, but it decided to punt. The fractured opinions fail to give doctors clarity about what the law requires, leaving patients and providers at risk. Justice Jackson is right: This decision is not a victory; it is a delay.  

“Extremists want to ban abortion nationwide and will do whatever it takes for that to happen – from going all the way to the Supreme Court to deny pregnant people the right to emergency care, to trying to restrict access to abortion and miscarriage medication. We know these same anti-democratic forces are also threatening nationwide access to IVF and birth control.   

“We cannot and will not let them win. We’ll continue using every tool at our disposal to fight back against these deeply unpopular attacks on our bodily autonomy and our fundamental freedoms – in Massachusetts and nationwide.”