Bills say abortion is not healthcare, ban used of medication abortion
By Dave Andrusko
Now that the legislature has adjourned, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has 15 days to decide the fate of pro-life House Bill 152. The legislature tried to thread the needle in passing a bill that addresses a judge’s criticism of an earlier bill—HB52—which resulted in him granted a preliminary injunction.
In 2021, the legislature passed a “trigger law” which was to take effect when and if Roe v. Wade was overturned. The Supreme Court did so in its Dobbs decision, handed down on June 24, 2022. But in August Wyoming Judge Melissa Owen granted a preliminary injunction halting enforcement of the law.
The judge pointed to language in a new section added to the state’s constitution in response to Obamacare. The amendment states, “Each competent adult shall have the right to make his or her own health care decisions. The parent, guardian or legal representative of any other natural person shall have the right to make health care decisions for that person.” The state Supreme Court is still grappling with that case.
In House Bill 152– the Life is a Human Right Act– the legislature declared that abortion is not health care.
“It is within the authority of the state of Wyoming to determine reasonable and necessary restrictions upon abortion, including its prohibition,” the bill states. “In accordance with (the Wyoming Constitution), the legislature determines that the health and general welfare of the people requires the prohibition of abortion as defined in this act.”
There is a second pro-life bill Gov. Gordon has on his desk. Reporter Kelcie Moseley-Morris writes
Legislators also passed a bill prohibiting the use of medications that are used with the intention of terminating a pregnancy, including mifepristone, misoprostol, mifeprex, mifegyne, “or any substantially similar generic or non-generic or chemical dispensed for purposes of causing an abortion.”
The bill includes prohibitions on manufacturing, distributing, prescribing, dispensing, selling, transferring or using the drugs in the state for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion. Those who violate the law would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a maximum $9,000 fine.