NRL News

Judge temporarily halts Wyoming’s new pro-life law

by | Mar 23, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

As expected, pro-abortionists in Wyoming quickly found a judge willing to block pro-life House Bill 152 which had briefly taken effect. The ban prohibits abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to save a woman’s life.

“After a three-hour hearing, Judge Melissa Owens of Teton County District Court granted a temporary restraining order, pausing a law that took effect Sunday,” Pam Bullock reported.

“Owens put the new ban on hold after a hearing Wednesday in which abortion-rights supporters said the law harms pregnant women and their doctors and violates the state constitution,” according to Mead Gruver. “Owens. suspended the ban for at least two weeks.”

“[A]ll members of the human race are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, the foremost of which is the right to life,” the bill states.

In 2021, the legislature passed a “trigger law” which was to take effect when and if Roe v. Wade was overturned. The Supreme Court did so in its Dobbs decision, handed down on June 24, 2022. But in August Judge Owens granted a preliminary injunction halting enforcement of the law.

The judge pointed to language in a new section added to the state’s constitution in response to Obamacare.  The amendment states, “Each competent adult shall have the right to make his or her own health care decisions. The parent, guardian or legal representative of any other natural person shall have the right to make health care decisions for that person.” The state Supreme Court is still grappling with that case.

But in House Bill 152– the Life is a Human Right Act– the legislature declared that abortion is not health care.       

“It is within the authority of the state of Wyoming to determine reasonable and necessary restrictions upon abortion, including its prohibition,” the bill states. “In accordance with (the Wyoming Constitution), the legislature determines that the health and general welfare of the people requires the prohibition of abortion as defined in this act.”

Wyoming has also addressed medication abortion. Last Friday Gov. Mark Gordon signed Senate Enrolled Act 93 that made Wyoming the first state to specifically make it illegal “to prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell or use any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion on any person,” with the exceptions for rape, incest, miscarriages and when the mother’s life is at risk.

The six plaintiffs  amended their lawsuit to add a challenge to that law as well. “Now, the medication abortion ban and the overall ban will be considered at a hearing where the plaintiffs will seek an injunction to suspend both laws until the full lawsuit can be heard,” according to Belluck.

Categories: Judicial