CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A Wyoming judge on Wednesday heard arguments from a burned-out women’s health clinic and others about whether to temporarily block a state abortion ban on the day it went into effect.
The United States Supreme Court officially released its judgment Tuesday in Dobbs v. Jackson of June 24 – a step that allows certain state laws to trigger the ban on abortion.
Lawyers arguing before Teton County District Judge Melissa Owens in Jackson disagreed on whether the Wyoming Constitution provides a right to abortion. The hearing continued into the late morning with no immediate decision from Owens on a temporary restraining order sought against the ban.
Those suing include a nonprofit opening a women’s and LGBTQ health clinic in Casper that allegedly offered abortions. An arson attack in May delayed the clinic’s opening from mid-June until at least the end of this year, months after Wyoming’s new abortion ban began.
The Wyoming hearing comes a day after Republican lawmakers in Indiana narrowly advanced a plan to ban nearly all abortions in the state, despite opposition from abortion rights supporters, who say that the bill goes too far, and anti-abortion activists, who say it doesn’t. go far enough.
Wyoming was among the states that recently passed abortion bans if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, which happened on June 24. – before the law takes effect on Wednesday.
The law will prohibit abortions except in cases of rape or incest or to protect the life or health of the mother, excluding psychological conditions. Wyoming until Wednesday had allowed abortions up to the point of viability outside the mother, or about 23 weeks into the pregnancy.
The four Wyoming women and two nonprofits who sued Monday say the new law violates several rights guaranteed by the state constitution, including a “fundamental right to be left alone by the government.”
The lawsuit claims the abortion ban will harm women — two obstetricians, a pregnant nurse and a University of Wyoming law student — by barring potentially life-saving treatment options for their patients or themselves.