OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 9:51 AM – Saturday, March 18, 2023
Governor Mark Gordon (R-Wyo.) signed a bill on Friday, banning the use or prescription of abortion pills in the state.
The legislation, which was passed by the Republican led state legislature, makes Wyoming the first state to enact a ban on abortion pills. The bill includes language which would make it illegal to “prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell or use any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion.”
There are certain exemptions within the bill for when treatment is necessary to protect women from “an imminent peril that substantially endangers her life or health.” The bill also has exemptions in place for “natural miscarriages,”
The morning-after pill, will also be exempt from the ban under the new bill.
Violators of the new law will be subject to a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $9,000.
The measure also notes that a woman who has a chemical abortion performed or attempted on her “shall not be criminally prosecuted.”
The governor explained that a separate bill which bans abortion procedures within the state was also separately enacted.
The second measure, which was passed by the state lawmakers, bans abortion procedures unless necessary to protect the health and life of the mother. The measure also permits the procedure in cases of rape and incest, or when there is a lethal abnormality to the fetus.
Since the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling in June, there have been a number of legal challenges to abortion legislation across the United States. Following the Court’s ruling, each state was free to enact its own abortion access regulations.
Gordon admitted that proponents of abortion access who opposed Wyoming’s “trigger” abortion restriction when it went into effect following the overturning of Roe v. Wade had sued to try and prevent the new law on abortion pills from going into effect.
The new law will go into effect on Sunday.