US state of Wyoming introduces new law banning abortion pills | American News
A US state has introduced a law banning abortion pills.
Republican Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed into law a bill banning the use of abortion pills, after it was approved by state lawmakers earlier this month.
Those who ‘prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell or use any medicine for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion’ will face up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $9,000 (£7,300) .
However, the law adds that women “on whom a chemical abortion is performed or attempted will not be criminally prosecuted”.
This follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade judgment, which granted American women’s constitutional right to have an abortion.
Under Wyoming’s new law, morning-after pills, prescription contraceptive drugs used after sex but before a pregnancy can be confirmed, will be exempt from the ban.
There will also be an exemption for treatments necessary to protect a woman “from imminent peril which seriously endangers her life or health”, as well as any treatment of a “natural miscarriage according to currently accepted medical guidelines”. .
In addition to banning abortion pills, Governor Gordon allowed a separate, more sweeping measure restricting abortion to become law without his signature.
He said signing the bill would result in a lawsuit that would “delay any resolution of the constitutionality of Wyoming’s abortion ban.”
What has changed since the Roe v Wade decision was overturned?
The state is currently pushing for more sweeping laws banning abortion, with an early abortion ban bill currently at the center of a court battle.
The previous bill was blocked by the courts after providers claimed the law violated the Wyoming state constitution’s guarantee of freedom in health care decisions.
Meanwhile, a federal judge in Texas is considering ordering a nationwide ban on the abortion pill mifepristone in response to a lawsuit filed by anti-abortion groups.
Antonio Serrano, advocacy director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Wyoming, criticized Governor Gordon’s decision to sign the abortion pill law into law.
“A person’s health, not politics, should guide important medical decisions — including the decision to have an abortion,” Serrano said.
Fifteen states already have limited access to abortion pills, including six that require an in-person medical visit, following the Roe v Wade ruling.
Since the overturning of the ruling, abortion restrictions have been left to states to define their own legislation, instead of the right to abortion being enshrined as a constitutional right.