A decision in a high-stakes abortion case was accidentally prematurely posted to the Supreme Court’s website on Wednesday.

Though not the final ruling, the inadvertently leaked document indicates that the court will return the abortion case to a lower court, allowing emergency room doctors in Idaho to perform abortions, despite it being illegal in the state.

What happened? 

Patricia McCabe, a spokesperson for the Supreme Court, confirmed with CNA that the document, which was first reported on by Bloomberg, is authentic but emphasized that it is not the final decision.

“The court’s Publications Unit inadvertently and briefly uploaded a document to the court’s website,” she explained.

She said that the final opinion in Moyle v. United States “has not been released.” This decision, she said, “will be issued in due course.”

This is the second abortion-related Supreme Court case to be prematurely released in two years. In 2022, a draft of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that showed the court planned to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked to Politico.

What did the leak reveal?

Titled Moyle v. United States, the case revolves around the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which the Biden administration argues requires that hospitals perform abortions in emergency medical situations.

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According to the Biden DOJ, Idaho’s threshold for when it permits abortion is too strict, because it only permits abortions when necessary to prevent the death of the mother and does not include any exceptions for other health risks covered by EMTALA.

In oral arguments presented to the justices in April, Idaho’s lawyer Joshua Turner said Idaho’s law does not conflict with EMTALA in any way and claimed the DOJ is “misreading” the statute when it makes that assertion.

In the accidently posted document, which has since been removed from the court’s website, the court dismisses Idaho’s appeals as improvidently granted. 

This means that the case will return to the lower 9th Circuit Court, which has already ruled to block Idaho’s prohibition of abortions in emergency rooms.

Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas wrote dissenting opinions, which were also included in the document.

The Supreme Court’s decision in this case could have far-ranging effects on protections for unborn children in Idaho and more than 20 other states that have passed pro-life laws in the past few years.