DOJ: States cannot penalize VA medical doctors and nurses for authorized abortions

States can not impose civil or felony penalties on Division of Veterans Affairs medical doctors and nurses who present abortion companies which might be allowed by federal regulation, a Division of Justice process pressure stated in a brand new memo launched Thursday.

Why it issues: The memo comes after the VA stated earlier this month it plans to supply abortions to beneficiaries when being pregnant is the results of rape or incest and when beginning could current a hazard to a pregnant particular person’s well being.

  • The memo stated VA medical doctors and nurses are shielded from state-imposed felony or civil legal responsibility when offering federally sanctioned abortion by the Supremacy Clause of the Structure.

What they’re saying: “The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Structure bars state officers from penalizing VA workers for performing their federal capabilities, whether or not via felony prosecution, license revocation proceedings, or civil litigation,” reads the memo, written by Christopher Schroeder, help legal professional normal of the DOJ’s Workplace of Authorized Counsel.

Our thought bubble, through Axios’ Oriana Gonzalez: That is the Biden administration’s newest effort to guard abortion entry by arguing that federal regulation preempts state regulation.

  • After purple states’ response to the administration’s rule on EMTALA (together with Texas’ lawsuit), the DOJ is getting forward of potential authorized threats and asserting that states can not invalidate VA’s rule.

The large image: The Supreme Court docket’s determination to overturn Roe v. Wade earlier this yr pressured the VA to challenge a brand new rule on abortions supplied to veterans and different VA beneficiaries, as dozens of states have since banned the process.

  • Whereas VA hospitals are positioned in each state and U.S. territory, the amenities themselves are federal property and their workers are federal workers.
  • Congressional Republicans led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) final week launched a invoice which might ban abortion nationally after 15 weeks with exceptions for conditions involving rape, incest or dangers to the life and bodily well being of the pregnant particular person.
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