Second-trimester abortion facility opens in Wyoming as pro-life law remains blocked

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An abortion facility has opened in Wyoming amidst legal uncertainty, raising the number of abortion facilities in the pro-life state to two.

Wellspring Health Access opened last week; it is owned by Julie Burkhart, an abortionist who previously worked with George Tiller, the late-term Kansas abortionist murdered in 2009.

The only other facility in Wyoming, located in Jackson, commits only chemical abortions. This new facility, however, will commit surgical abortions through 24 weeks of pregnancy, according to its website. “It’s been a long journey, filled with obstacles and challenges, but we at Wellspring Health Access refused to give up because we believe that Wyomingites deserve access to abortion care,” Burkhart said in a statement.

Preborn child at 24 weeks

The abortion facility is operated by Circle of Hope Health Care Service, a pro-abortion non-profit organization with the mission of expanding “access to reproductive health care in abortion deserts around the world.”

Last month, Wyoming legislators passed a bill that would protect nearly all preborn children from abortion; it was blocked almost immediately by a district court judge. Teton County District Court Judge Melissa Owens ruled that the state’s pro-life law may violate the Wyoming Constitution, which states that adults have a right to make their own healthcare decisions.

Legislators specifically addressed this issue by accurately defining abortion — the intentional, direct killing of an undelivered human — as “not health care” in the law. Yet Owens still ruled against them, granting a restraining order due to a lawsuit challenging the pro-life law. “The state can not legislate away a constitutional right,” she said in her oral decision. “It’s not clear whether abortion is health care. The court has to then decide that.”

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Owens also blocked the state’s trigger law last summer, which protected preborn children from abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or medical emergencies. The new bill was written to replace the trigger law, which went into effect on July 27, 2022, after Roe v. Wade was overturned. However, a lawsuit from a coalition of pro-abortion groups prompted Owens to block it. It is unclear if legislators will continue trying to pass bills protecting preborn children from abortion in Wyoming.

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