Wyoming becomes first state to ban abortion pills
Medical abortion is already banned in states that have total bans because those bans already ban all forms of abortion.
government Mark Gordon Of Wyoming Republican, signed a ban on abortion pills in that state on the same day that he said he would allow another more radical anti-abortion measure to become law without his signature. The law, which takes effect Sunday, bans abortion under virtually all circumstances, making abortion a criminal offence.
“I have acted impartially and after much prayer that these bills become law,” Mr. Gordon wrote in a letter to the Wyoming Secretary of State released Friday evening.
Read more about the problems of abortion in America
Mr. Gordon said in the letter that he withheld his signature on a broader abortion ban because he feared it would complicate matters in an ongoing legal battle over an earlier abortion ban passed by Wyoming lawmakers.
The broader ban also bans medical abortion, and the measure banning abortion pills will mostly result in additional fines for medical abortion providers.
Both laws are likely to be quickly challenged in court by abortion providers, who will seek to prevent the bans from going into effect while the lawsuit continues. The earlier ban on abortion has so far been blocked by the courts after medical professionals and others filed a lawsuit alleging that the law violates Wyoming’s constitutional guarantee of free healthcare decision making. The recent ban on abortion is an attempt to circumvent this constitutional provision by declaring that abortion is not medical treatment.
The Wyoming Abortion Pill Act goes into effect on July 1. it is illegal to “prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell, or use any drug for the purpose of obtaining or performing an abortion.” Physicians or others found guilty of violating this law will be prosecuted for an offense punishable by up to six months in prison and a $9,000 fine. The law explicitly states that pregnant patients will be exempt from fees and fines.
There is only one clinic in Wyoming that performs abortions, the Women’s Health and Family Care Clinic in Jackson. It only provides for medical abortion, not a surgical procedure.
Earlier versions of the bill named specific drugs: mifepristone and two branded versions of it, and misoprostol, the second drug used in the medical abortion scheme.
But doctors objected, pointing out that misoprostol in particular had many other medical uses, including helping pregnant patients deliver successfully. Doctors have expressed concern that pharmacists will be afraid to stock any drugs, and some Republicans have said abortion drug names could simply be changed to circumvent the law. As a result the final language has been expanded outlaw the use of any abortion drugs without mentioning specific drugs.
In 2023, at least three other bills were introduced to ban medical abortion. In Iowa, the bill was not put to a vote before the end of the legislative session, and in Hawaii, a Democratic state, the bill seemed unlikely to pass.
The bill, introduced in Texas, a state that already bans abortion, includes a host of provisions aimed at cutting off any access to the pill, including making it harder for Texas patients to get information about abortion services or their use outside of the state. The bill would make it illegal to manufacture, distribute, or “provide an abortion drug by any means to any person or place in this state.”
It would also make it illegal “to create, edit, upload, publish, host, maintain, or register a domain name for an Internet site, platform, or other interactive computer service that assists or facilitates a person’s efforts in obtaining an abortion.” drugs.”
Many patients learn about abortion options from websites such as Plan C, a clearinghouse for information about medical abortion. And a growing number of patients in states where abortion is illegal are arranging to get pills through telemedicine websites such as Aid Access, a European service that delivers pills to any state from India, and Hey Jane, one of several US services that will provide pills to patients who travel to a state where abortion is legal and where they can get medicines by mail in those states.
In addition to Wyoming and states with total bans on abortion, 15 states have introduced restrictions on access to medical abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. These restrictions range from requiring medication to be provided by a doctor to requiring the patient to visit the doctor in person. Several states, including Texas and Arizona, are banning mail-order abortion pills, and mail-in pill bills have been introduced this year in at least three other states.
“We are seeing efforts to further limit access to medical abortion because anti-abortion advocates recognize that even with abortion bans in place in 12 states and no access in two more, patients can still get abortion pills,” said Elizabeth Nash. , state representative. political analyst at the Guttmacher Institute. “Now anti-abortion advocates have taken to the courts, attorneys general and state legislatures to further restrict access to the pill.”
Since January, when newly elected legislatures began to convene for the first time since Dobbs v. USA. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization’s decision ended the national right to abortion, with more than 500 abortion-related bills proposed in states across the country.
Some states, where Democratic legislatures have strong – or even unexpected – majorities, are taking steps to increase protection against abortion. in Minnesota, first account legislature in 2023, making it harder for future legislatures and governors to relax these protections, which signed in January by the governor. Tim Walz, Democrat. In Michigan, the legislature has reiterated the abortion ban, and the governor is expected to be signed by Democrat Gretchen Whitmer.
But most of the new bills are aimed at limiting access to abortion. And now, as several states close their legislative sessions, bills are starting to hit the governors’ tables.
According to another new Wyoming law, “Life is the law of human rights”, performing an abortion or administering abortion drugs would be a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in prison, and doctors would have their license revoked. The law prohibits abortion, with narrow exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and serious risks to the life or health of the pregnant patient.
“While other states are promoting extreme abortion programs comparable to the brutal laws of North Korea and China, Wyoming is pro-life, arguing that life is a human right and providing real support for women,” State Representative Rachel Rodriguez said. Williams, sponsor of the bill.
The law is intended to replace the existing ban, which now suspended due to legal action over its constitutionality. However, it remains to be seen how this will affect the actions of the Wyoming Supreme Court.
It’s about defining health care: Wyoming’s state constitution has the right to make their own decisions about health care. Thus, the new law provides that abortion is not medical care.
“Abortion is not medical care, but the deliberate termination of the life of an unborn child,” the new law says. “It is within the power of the State of Wyoming to determine reasonable and necessary restrictions on abortion, including its prohibition.”