US abortion law: Wyoming leads the way in banning abortion pills


Wyoming has spearheaded the state’s efforts to ban the most common form of abortion by enacting the first clear nationwide ban on the pregnancy-termination pill.

In many states, women can get abortion pills prescribed online and delivered to their homes. The ease and availability of drugs have made that method the most popular way to end a pregnancy — more than half of all abortions are performed using that method, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a group that advocates for the abortion approach. pregnant.

But 13 states have now effectively banned the abortion pill by banning all forms of abortion, a move that came after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. The landmark Wade last year.

Fifteen states restrict access to the drug. Of those, six — Arizona, Indiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, and South Carolina — require an in-person physician to perform. Arizona also prohibits sending abortion pills in the mail.

But before the legislation signed Friday by Republican Governor of Wyoming Mark Gordon, no state specifically banned the abortion pill. The law was passed along with a new abortion ban that sought to overcome problems with the state’s previous ban that went to court.

With the two new abortion laws, the Wyoming Legislature is “trying to cover all its bases” for banning abortion, said Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute.

Gordon allowed a new broad abortion ban to go into effect on Sunday without his signature. Whether the abortion pill ban he signed goes into effect on July 1 as planned remains to be seen. It can be delayed in court if an abortion provider in the state sues about it. Meanwhile, a federal judge in Texas is reviewing a case involving nationwide access to abortion pills.

Here’s a look at where abortion is in Wyoming and elsewhere:


Correct. As of Sunday, abortion of any kind is illegal.

The state’s only clinic to provide abortions until the ban was in the tourist mountain town of Jackson. Another clinic in Casper was set to open last year before plans were delayed due to arson. The clinic, Wellspring Health Access, hopes to open next month but those plans are currently uncertain.

Even before the ban, many women in Wyoming drove to Colorado and other places to have an abortion because it was more convenient. There is no ban on women in Wyoming from continuing out of the state to seek abortions.


Wyoming has long been a deeply conservative state but one that generally avoids meddling in social affairs – live and let live is the motto of rural life in the West.

That is changing. With the state Legislature more dominated by Republicans than at any other time in this century, leaders can delve into issues of culture war with almost no backlash. for which.

Last year, Gordon signed an abortion ban that went into effect a month after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. Within hours, Teton County Judge Melissa Owens suspended the restraining order, ruling that a lawsuit alleging it would harm pregnant women and their doctors could be credited.

The two nonprofits and four women, including two obstetricians, also argued that the ban violated a 2012 state constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to make health care decisions. self.

State attorneys general say that’s not the point – the amendment passed in response to the Affordable Care Act seeks to expand health care coverage nationwide.

This year, Wyoming legislators ended the case with a new abortion ban that explicitly states abortion is not health care and is therefore not protected by the state constitution.


Most Republican-controlled states have imposed abortion bans or tighter restrictions in anticipation that Roe v. Wade will eventually be exposed.

And last year, several Democratic-controlled states adopted measures to protect access to abortion.

But that didn’t end the legislative battles.

This month, Utah passed a law banning abortion clinics, making it the first state to take such action. It comes when the state’s ban on abortion at all stages of pregnancy is thwarted by a legal challenge.

In Florida, lawmakers are trying to figure out which bans will apply. Florida has previously introduced a ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is much laxer than what other GOP-controlled states have implemented; a new measure to ban them after six weeks has been passed the Legislature. Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, is expected to sign if it gets to him.

In South Carolina, also dominated by the GOP, lawmakers are debating what kind of ban should apply next after a six-week abortion ban was overturned by the state’s highest court.

In Minnesota, a state where last year’s election gave Democrats full control of the government, the governor this year signed into law additional protections for access to abortion.

Geoff Mulvihill of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, contributed to this report.

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