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Tipsheet

Pro-Abortion Advocates in Wyoming File Lawsuit to Block Pro-Life Trigger Law

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

A lawsuit filed this week by pro-abortion advocates in Wyoming aims to block an abortion ban in the state before it’s scheduled to take effect. 

The lawsuit claims that the abortion ban violates the state’s constitution and forces women to go to nieghboring states to obtain abortion procedures, according to the Associated Press. Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill, a Republican, will defend the law when it’s challenged in court. 

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The bill, HB0092, was signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordan (R) in March, ahead of the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Three weeks later, Gordon certified the law to take effect this week. It will outlaw most abortions and includes exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Abortion advocates challenging the lawsuit argue that the ban would “potentially life-saving treatment options” (via Associated Press):

The lawsuit filed in Teton County District Court by four Wyoming women and two nonprofits seeking to maintain abortion access claims 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 the women — two obstetricians, a pregnant nurse and a University of Wyoming law student — by outlawing potentially life-saving treatment options for their patients or themselves.

For example, the ban would force one of the women, Dr. Giovannina Anthony, a Jackson OB-GYN, to decline care to women with desired pregnancies out of concern she could go to jail if a miscarriage resulted in prosecution, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit could meanwhile discourage procedures performed by Dr. Rene Hinkle, a Cheyenne OB-GYN, to remove miscarried fetuses or end pregnancies occurring outside the uterus out of concern she could be prosecuted, according to the lawsuit.

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The law could also discourage pregnant patients with complications from seeking care out of fear they could be prosecuted, the lawsuit alleges.

In December, Townhall reported that Wyoming’s last abortion doctor, Brent Blue, would leave the state after his clinic was acquired by St. John’s Health. NBC wrote that Blue was the only doctor in the state who openly provided surgical and medication abortions.

“Sometimes it’s right for somebody to be pregnant and to have a child, and other times it’s not,” Blue told NBC. “It’s up to that individual woman to make that decision. It’s not up to me.”

“I've always felt that women's rights and women's health are an important issue,” he added. “And I've never understood why women get the short end of the health care stick.”

In the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe, the Justices wrote that the U.S. Constitution does not protect the right to abortion and determined that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were wrongly decided.

“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” the opinion stated. 

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“Like the infamous decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, Roe was also egregiously wrong and on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided. Casey perpetuated its errors, calling both sides of the national controversy to resolve their debate, but in doing so, Casey necessarily declared a winning side. Those on the losing side—those who sought to advance the State’s interest in fetal life—could no longer seek to persuade their elected representatives to adopt policies consistent with their views. The Court short-circuited the democratic process by closing it to the large number of Americans who disagreed with Roe.”

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