Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed a bill Friday, March 17, night prohibiting abortion pills in the state and also allowed a separate measure restricting abortion to become law without his signature.
In a statement, Gordon expressed concern that the latter law, dubbed the Life is a Human Right Act would result in a lawsuit that will “delay any resolution to the constitutionality of the abortion ban in Wyoming.”
He noted that earlier in the day, plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit filed a challenge to the new law in the event he did not issue a veto. “I believe this question needs to be decided as soon as possible so that the issue of abortion in Wyoming can be finally resolved, and that is best done with a vote of the people,” Gordon, a Republican, said in a statement.
The Wyoming governor’s decision on abortion pills comes after they took center stage this week in Texas, where a federal judge raised questions about a Christian group’s effort to overturn the decades-old US approval of a leading abortion drug, mifepristone.
In a statement, Wyoming ACLU advocacy director Antonio Serrano criticized the governor’s decision to sign the law. “A person’s health, not politics, should guide important medical decisions – including the decision to have an abortion,” Serrano said.
Since the US Supreme Court in June overturned Roe v. Wade, the ruling that protected the right to abortion for nearly five decades, abortion restrictions have been up to states and the landscape has shifted quickly.
Thirteen states are now enforcing bans on abortion at any point in pregnancy, and one more, Georgia, bans it once cardiac activity can be detected, or at about six weeks’ gestation.
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Courts have put on hold enforcement of abortion bans or deep restrictions in Arizona, Indiana, Montana, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming. Idaho courts have forced the state to allow abortions during medical emergencies.