Wyoming Becomes First State to Ban Abortion Pill

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Friday evening, Wyoming’s Governor Mark Gordon signed a bill banning the pills, effectively banning abortion completely in the state.

While some states with total abortion bans include medication abortions by nature of their total bans, Wyoming is the first state to successfully eliminate medication abortion separately from surgical abortion.

“I have acted without bias and after extensive prayer, to allow these bills to become law,” Governor Gordon wrote in a letter released on Friday evening.

The state has only one clinic that provides abortions, located in Jackson, and it only provides medication abortions.

The law will take effect on July 1st if it is not blocked via legal challenges, which is nearly inevitable.

It makes it illegal to “prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell or use any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion.”

Anyone found guilty of violating the law would face misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $9,000 fine. The law explicitly excludes pregnant women from charges.

Gordon allowed a second bill to go into effect without his signature. Addressing the unusual move, he said he worried it would complicate ongoing legal challenges to an earlier abortion ban passed by the state.

He advised legislators to stop making minor changes to abortion ban bills that only delay and prolongate legal challenges. He said the issue is ultimately best handled by Wyoming voters and urged legislators to put a constitutional amendment before the people for a vote.

“If the Legislature wants to expressly address how the Wyoming Constitution treats abortion and defines healthcare, then those issues should be vetted through the amendment process laid out in Article 20 of the Wyoming Constitution and voted on directly by the people,” Gordon wrote.

Wyoming’s law comes as a ruling is expected at any time from a Texas judge who could order the US Food and Drug Administration to withdraw its approval of mifepristone. Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk said he would issue his ruling “as soon as possible”.

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