A bill has been introduced by a coalition of Democratic lawmakers in Wyoming, which aims to affirm the right to obtain an abortion before the fetus reaches viability or in order to safeguard the woman’s health.
A new bill, known as House Bill 0076 or the Reproductive Freedom Act, was recently introduced on January 22nd. This date holds significance as it marks the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973. In a significant turn of events, the decision was reversed during the summer of 2022. As a result, federal protections for abortion were eliminated, effectively shifting the responsibility of addressing this issue to individual states.
Wyoming had implemented a nearly complete ban on abortions, which was set to be enforced if a specific U.S. Supreme Court ruling occurred. Pro-choice advocate groups have taken legal action against the state by filing a lawsuit in Teton County District Court. They argue that there is a state constitutional right to access healthcare.
The legislation, along with two other pro-life bills passed by the legislature, is currently facing a block from taking effect as the matters of law are being explored in the Ninth Judicial District.
Every individual has the fundamental right to life. An act has been proposed which states that abortion, as defined in this act, is not considered health care. It also asserts that a fetus should be protected by the state’s interests from the moment of conception. Certain circumstances, such as cases of rape, incest, or when the woman’s life or a vital organ is in mortal danger, are exceptions to the rule.
A new bill was introduced by the Democrats on Monday, aiming to prevent the state from obstructing or denying an individual’s right to have an abortion before the fetus is viable or to safeguard the person’s life or health.
The bill defines “viability” as the fetus having a substantial chance of surviving outside the uterus without the need for extraordinary medical interventions. Mike Yin, the Representative for Jackson and the House Minority Floor Leader, expressed his enthusiasm for his caucus’s bill.
In a press release, Yin expressed concern over an abortion ban that is seen as an unconstitutional infringement on reproductive freedom. The ban is criticized for its excessive interference in the personal lives and medical choices of individuals. “The introduction of this Act is seen as a significant move in safeguarding and upholding the reproductive rights of all Wyoming residents.”
In a recent development, the bill’s authors highlighted the case of Kate Cox, a woman from Texas who received a diagnosis of a chromosomal disorder for her fetus when she was 20 weeks pregnant. A woman has taken legal action against the state and later decided to undergo an abortion. This decision came after the attorney general made it clear that medical providers who violated the law would face prosecution.
Advocates for abortion rights have highlighted the findings of the peer-reviewed Turnaway Study. According to the study, denying women access to abortions leads to negative financial, health, and family outcomes.
According to previous statements made to Oil City News, proponents of the anti-abortion movement argue that legal protections should be granted to human life from the moment of conception. The Human Rights bill also mentions the state’s concern for preventing discrimination and addressing the issue of “fetal pain.” At a Casper rally in fall 2021, moral positions on both sides were extensively discussed.
The Reproductive Freedom Act is likely to encounter significant opposition in the Wyoming state legislature, especially given the upcoming budget session’s primary focus.