Wyoming abortion ban expected to take effect in coming days

Jul 22, 2022, 2:35 AM | Updated: 2:45 pm

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Most abortions will become illegal in Wyoming on Wednesday after Gov. Mark Gordon gave the go-ahead Friday under a new state law.

The law bans abortions except in cases of rape or incest or to protect the mother’s life or health, not including psychological conditions.

The Wyoming Legislature approved the ban and Gordon signed it into law in March in anticipation that the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade. That happened June 24, kicking off a review by Attorney General Bridget Hill to make sure Wyoming’s law conforms to the Supreme Court ruling.

Gordon certified the law to the Secretary of State’s Office after Hill completed her almost four-week review Thursday.

“I believe that the decision to regulate abortion is properly left to the states,” Gordon said in a statement. “As a pro-life governor, my focus will continue to be on ensuring we are doing all we can to support Wyoming mothers, children and families.”

Wyoming currently allows abortions until a fetus can survive outside its mother’s body, generally around 23 weeks. Wyoming has no abortion clinics but the procedure still occurs in other medical settings, with 98 in the state reported to the Wyoming Department of Health in 2021, up from 91 in 2020.

The abortion ban will have an “immediate and devastating” effect on those in Wyoming who can become pregnant, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement.

“Thanks to Wyoming’s trigger law, Wyomingites will have fewer rights than people in other states. A person’s health, not politics, should guide important health care decisions, including the decision to have an abortion,” said Libby Skarin, ACLU of Wyoming campaigns director.

Organizers of a planned women’s health and abortion clinic in Casper have said they might contest the state abortion ban in court. An arson attack in May delayed the clinic’s expected mid-June opening.

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Wyoming abortion ban expected to take effect in coming days