Wyoming bans abortion pills, becomes first state to ban
Republican Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed a bill Friday banning the use or prescription of abortion pills, making it the first state to ban the drugs.
The legislation was passed by the state’s GOP-controlled legislature earlier this month.
The bill contains a provision prohibiting “prescribing, dispensing, distributing, selling or using any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion.”
The morning after pill, a contraceptive drug used shortly after sex but before a woman can confirm her pregnancy, will be exempt from the ban.
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There are also exemptions when treatment is necessary to protect a woman “from imminent peril which seriously endangers her life or health” or for “natural miscarriage according to currently accepted medical guidelines”.
People who violate 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.
A woman “on whom a chemical abortion is performed or attempted will not be prosecuted”, notes the measure.
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Gordon said he also authorized the enactment of a separate bill banning abortion procedures without his signature. The measure, passed by state lawmakers, prohibits the procedure except when necessary to protect the health and life of the mother, in cases of rape or incest or to terminate a pregnancy in which doctors determine that there is a fatal fetal abnormality.
There have been a number of legal challenges across the United States regarding abortion laws since Roe v. Wade’s 1973 was overturned by the Supreme Court in June. The High Court ruling allowed states to make their own abortion access laws.
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Gordon acknowledged that proponents of abortion access who challenged Wyoming’s “trigger” abortion ban after it went into effect following the overturning of Roe v. Wade sued to preemptively block the new abortion pill law.
Reuters contributed to this report.