Legislators look at abortion in Wyoming

Updated: Feb. 23, 2023 at 6:56 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - As legislators start to bring the 67th Legislative session towards an end, they are beginning to wrap up a few hot-topic bills.

The Prohibiting Chemical Abortions bill went to the House Revenue Committee Thursday morning.

This bill outlaws drugs used for abortions, providing criminal penalties, definitions and exceptions.

”We heard from testimony from doctors who have delivered thousands of Wyoming babies, that particularly one of those drugs should not be in the bill because it ‘s used by women everyday in Wyoming, and we want to make sure that its available in all our small town pharmacies our big towns,” said Rep. Steve Harshman, Chair for House Revenue Committee, H.D. 37.

Healthcare providers said getting the Misoprostol-Cytotec drug off the list was essential.

In cases of miscarriages or to induce labor, this pharmaceutical is used to prevent surgeries and blood transfusions.

”I think in this particular legislative session we have to take the wins that we can take and so getting that medication off the list was our most important focus at this time,” said Dr. Rene Hinkle, Physician Cheyenne Womens’ Clinic.

”I think thats the goal that al ot of them have is not to have unintended consequences that actually apply to health care of both the mother and the child while not creating loopholes through which you know individuals might be able to go around and still use those medicines for abortion,” said Mike Leman, Legislative Liaison for the Diocese of Cheyenne.

Life is a human right act also moved through the senate agricultural committee Thursday morning.

The President of the Senate, Sen. Ogden Driskill, added new exceptions to the bill for incest, peril to the mother’s life and rape.

“We’re hoping it would also provide certainty for doctors and people that are treating patients that are pregnant. They are treating the mother and the baby as two patients rather than just saying the mother is the patient and the baby is treated differently,” said Sen. Cheri Steinmetz, Chair, Senate Agricultural Committee, S.D. 3.

Lawmakers say they want to direct the bill towards the “intention” of terminating a healthy life that does not include rape or incest and that the bill does not include contraception.

Both bills passed their committees and, if passed by the Governor, will go into effect by July.