Tue, 12 Dec 2023

Wyoming outlaws use of abortion pills

Robert Besser
21 Mar 2023, 22:15 GMT+10

CHEYENNE, Wyoming: A Wyoming bill outlawing the use or prescription of medication abortion pills, which was passed by the state's Republican-controlled legislature earlier this month, was signed into law by Governor Mark Gordon this week.

After a lawsuit was filed by anti-abortion groups, a federal judge in Texas is also considering a national ban on the abortion pill, mifepristone.

The Wyoming bill signed by Gordon makes it illegal to "prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell or use any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion."

However, contraception or "morning-after" pills used after sex, but before pregnancy, are exempted from the ban, along with any treatment necessary to protect a woman "from an imminent peril that substantially endangers her life or health," as well as any treatment of a "natural miscarriage, according to currently accepted medical guidelines."

Violations will be considered crimes and be punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $9,000, but a woman "upon whom a chemical abortion is performed or attempted shall not be criminally prosecuted."

A separate bill could be passed by state lawmakers to ban conventional abortion procedures, except in cases of rape or incest or to protect the health and life of the mother, Gordon said.

Ending a pregnancy if doctors determine there to be a lethal abnormality of the fetus is also exempted.

After a 2022 Supreme Court ruling that overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, related legal fights have intensified in the US.

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