ACLU: Governor Gordon Signed Law That Will Ban Abortion Entirely in Wyoming
The American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming released a statement on Tuesday, saying that Governor Gordon signed into law legislation that would "ban abortion entirely in Wyoming," if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Governor Gordon did announce on Tuesday that he signed multiple bills into law. One of those bills was HB0092 which, according to an Email from the Governor's office, is labeled as "Abortion prohibition-supreme court decision."
According to HB0092, a copy of which can be found here, states that:
"(a) An abortion shall not be performed after the embryo or fetus has reached viability except when necessary to preserve the woman from an imminent peril that substantially endangers her life or health, according to appropriate medical judgment.
"(b) An abortion shall not be performed except when necessary to preserve the woman from a serious risk of death or of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including any psychological or emotional conditions, or the pregnancy is the result of incest as defined by W.S. 6-4-402 or sexual assault as defined by W.S. 6-2-301. This subsection shall be effective five (5) days after the date that the governor, on advice of the attorney general, certifies to the secretary of state that the supreme court of the United States has overruled Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) in a manner that would authorize the enforcement of this subsection or has otherwise issued a final decision related to abortion that would authorize the enforcement of this subsection in accordance with that decision and without violating any conditions, rights or restrictions recognized by the supreme court.
"(c) For purposes of subsection (b) of this section the attorney general shall review any final decisions of the supreme court of the United States related to Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) or otherwise related to abortion to determine whether the enforcement of subsection (b) of this section would be fully authorized under that decision. The attorney general shall, within thirty (30) days of the date of the final decision of the supreme court, report the results of each review under this subsection to the joint judiciary interim committee and the governor who may, if applicable, certify the results of the review to the office of the secretary of state."
The bill also states that no funds appropriated by the legislature of the state of Wyoming may be used to pay for abortions, "except when the pregnancy is the result of incest as defined by W.S. 6‑4‑402 or sexual assault as defined by W.S. 6‑2‑301 if the assault is reported to a law enforcement agency within five (5) days after the assault or within five (5) days after the time the victim is capable of reporting the assault, or when the life of the mother would be endangered if the unborn child was carried to full term."
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Rodriguez-Williams and co-sponsored by Reps. Bear, Flitner, Gray, Haroldson, Heiner, Jennings, Neiman, Romero-Martinez, Styvar
Senator(s) Biteman, Boner, French, Hicks, Hutchings, and Salazar, was signed into law by Governor Gordon on Tuesday.
Shortly thereafter, the ACLU of Wyoming released a statement in opposition to House Bill 92.
"The legislation mimics other so-called “trigger bans” across the country that will take effect automatically under specific circumstances," the statement read. "But House Bill 92 improperly assigns the executive branch the responsibility of enacting law based upon future hypothetical case outcomes and creates a codified, inflexible mandate that lacks clarity."
The ACLU said that no matter what the Supreme Court may rule on when it comes to Roe v. Wade, there will continue to be litigation when it comes to abortion cases at both the federal and state levels. They stated that mandating that the Executive branch enact a law based on decisions that are unclear and that aren't deemed as final could creation confusion for residents of Wyoming.
“A person’s health, not politics, should guide important medical decisions – including the decision to have an abortion,” said Libby Skarin, ACLU of Wyoming campaigns director. “House Bill 92 puts unsound and unworkable processes into statute and deprives Wyomingites of one of their most fundamental freedoms. Gov. Gordon’s decision to sign this bill into law is disappointing, but the fight for abortion rights in Wyoming isn’t over. We will continue to challenge efforts contrary to our right to make our own reproductive health care decisions.”