Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon allowed a pro-life law to go into effect without his signature on Friday, the same day he signed a law prohibiting the use of the abortion pill in the state.
The Life is a Human Right Act (House Bill 152) protects most children from abortion, stating that “no person shall knowingly… administer to, prescribe or sell to any pregnant woman any medicine, drug or other substance with the specific intent of causing or abetting an abortion; or … Use or employ any instrument, device, means or procedure upon a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting an abortion.”
Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams (R), sponsor of the bill, told Live Action News, “Every life is precious, and I am proud of Wyoming’s tenacity and determination in protecting unborn children, supporting women, and upholding the dignity of the medical profession by enacting this pro-life law. At conception, a child has his own unique DNA; at 6 weeks, his heart beats; and at 10 weeks, he has his own fingerprints. While other states are pushing an extreme abortion agenda, comparable to North Korea’s and China’s inhumane laws, Wyoming is a pro-life state, affirming that life is a human right and ensuring that women have real support.”
“Exceptions” under the law include a “pre-viability separation procedure” — not an induced abortion — to protect the life or immediate health of the mother. This would be an emergency C-section or induced labor in which the intention is not to directly kill the child but to save the mother. The child may die as a secondary result, but his or her death is not the direct action of the procedure as is the case with induced abortion, in which the preborn child is directly and intentionally killed.
Medical treatment for the mother that results in the accidental death of the preborn child would also not be considered an abortion.
There is an exception in the law for preborn children conceived in rape or incest. Those children will be allowed to be targeted for abortion as long as the sexual assault is reported to the police with a copy of that report given to the abortionist.
In addition, children with a “lethal fetal anomaly” may also be intentionally killed by abortion under the law.
Anyone in violation of the law could face a felony charge and a $20,000 fee along with no more than five years in prison. They could also lose their medical license. Women would not face charges for an illegal abortion.
In a statement, Gordon said the law is likely to result in a lawsuit that will “delay any resolution to the constitutionality of the abortion ban in Wyoming.” In fact, plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit had already filed a challenge to the Life is a Human Right Act in the event that Gordon did not veto it.
“I believe this question needs to be decided as soon as possible so that the issue of abortion in Wyoming can be finally resolved, and that is best done with a vote of the people,” Gordon said.
Editor’s Note 3/22/23: A quote from Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams was added.
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