Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signs first nationwide ban on abortion pills

Republican Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has signed a bill making it illegal to prescribe or dispense abortion pills, making his state the first to ban what has become the nation’s most common method of pregnancy termination. .

The bill signed into law on Friday comes at a time when the future of abortion drugs hangs in the balance as a federal judge in Texas debates whether to overturn the Food and Drug Administration’s 2000 approval of mifepristone, which is part of the two-pill abortion regimen.

Republican Senator Tim Salazar, the bill’s sponsor, said after the signing that “my promise to protect the unborn child has been fulfilled.”

“Wyoming is the first country in the nation to ban chemical abortion. Over 90% of abortions in Wyoming are chemical abortions,” he posted on Facebook. made this possible. Thank you.”

The measure, which takes effect July 1, represents the latest salvo in the battle over abortion pills between red states and the Biden administration, which in January made pandemic-era rules permanent allowing the pills to be used. prescribed by telehealth and delivered by mail.

Fifteen states have passed laws requiring the pills to be prescribed by doctors. Six of those states also require an in-person visit with the doctor, according to the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute.

Antonio Serrano, director of advocacy for the ACLU of Wyoming, said “a person’s health, not politics, should drive important medical decisions — including the decision to have an abortion.”

“We will continue to challenge efforts that violate our right to make our own decisions about reproductive health care,” the ACLU said.

The law does not apply to the so-called “morning after pill”, which is taken before conception or before pregnancy can be verified, and exempts cases in which the drugs are used to treat miscarriages.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk held oral argument last week in Amarillo, Texas, on a challenge by pro-life medical groups against the FDA’s approval of mifepristone. The decision to revoke or suspend the approval could be made public at any time.

Governor Gordon also allowed a bill banning most abortions to become law without his signature, noting that a similar law was temporarily stalled last year pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the bill. measure.

“I understand the Legislative Assembly’s efforts to improve Wyoming’s pro-life legal framework and preemptively clarify some of these legal issues with the various legislative findings in HEA 0088,” Gordon said in a letter to the secretary. of state. “However, I think this issue needs to be decided as soon as possible so that the abortion issue in Wyoming can finally be resolved, and that’s best done with a vote of the people.”

Adam Schwend, western regional director of SBA Pro-Life America, said the bills make Wyoming “one of the most pro-life states in the country.”

“According to Medicaid data, the rate of emergency room visits related to chemical abortion has increased 500 percent since mifepristone was approved,” Schwend said. “Wyoming’s new law will limit the ability of the abortion industry to endanger the health and safety of women and girls.”


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