CHCLA Applauds Texas’ EMTALA Decision; CHCLA’s Brief Cited

For Immediate Release

August 24, 2022

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Ormond Beach, FL- Late last night, a federal judge, U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix in Lubbock, Texas, blocked the Biden Administration’s Guidance on the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA) that was released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on July 11, following the June 24 overruling of Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson case.

Judge Hendrix agreed with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that HHS’ Guidance went beyond EMTALA’s authorizing text. The judge barred HHS from enforcing the Guidance in Texas and against the plaintiffs who are two pro-life groups of doctors. The judge’s order cites the Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance’s (CHCLA) amicus brief, saying “Two AAPLOG [American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists] doctors noted they were members of the Catholic Church and also shared the views of the Church regarding abortion. They both object to the abortions required by the Guidance on religious grounds. The Catholic amici’s brief clarified the impact of the Guidance on Catholic medical practitioners. [CHCLA] “believes that the position taken by Defendants’ will significantly impact . . . the ability of CHCLA members to practice medicine without being forced or required to perform intentional abortions as a treatment option under EMTALA, which is a violation of CHCLA members’ conscience rights as practitioners of the Catholic faith.” 

Dr. Steven White, President of CHCLA and former president of the Catholic Medical Association, released the following statement: 

“We are grateful for Judge Hendrix’s leadership and for the protection of medical conscience. HHS’ position significantly compromises the ability of Catholic health care providers to practice medicine in line with their conscience, religious beliefs and best medical judgment. Catholic doctors want to provide optimal care to both mothers and their pre-born children, and not to be forced to participate in killing a child by way of an abortion.” 

Joshua McCaig, Board Member of CHCLA and the Founding President of the Catholic Bar Association said: 

“Biden’s EMTALA mandate went beyond the text of the law. EMTALA’s purpose, as expressly written in the statute, is to ensure that both a pregnant woman and her unborn child receive appropriate medical treatment in an emergency. EMTALA was never meant to be used for intentionally terminating a pregnancy. That was not its purpose.” 

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About the Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance

The Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance is an alliance of faithful Catholic organizations that supports the rights of patients and professionals to receive and provide health care in accordance with the moral, ethical, and social teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church through ongoing evangelization, education, advocacy, and mutual support. For more information, please visit