Republican Governor Mark Gordon of Wyoming has banned the prescription and use of abortion pills in the state. Gordon on Friday signed into law a bill passed by the legislature to ban the use of abortion pills such as Mifepristone. Anyone caught violating the law risks six months in jail or a fine of up to $9,000.
Several anti-abortion groups in the state had filed a lawsuit seeking to prohibit the use of abortion pills in Wyoming. A federal judge in Texas had even considered implementing a ban on pills throughout the entire United States, but this is yet to gain traction in the judiciary.
Wyoming is the first state in the country to make it criminal to “prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell or use any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion.” Contraceptive drugs that are taken immediately after sex to prevent conception are exempted from the ban.
The Wyoming government stated that treatments crucial to protect a woman from imminent peril are not banned, and so is any treatment of a natural miscarriage that aligns with medical guidelines. The government also said that a woman “upon whom a chemical abortion is performed or attempted shall not be criminally prosecuted.”
Gordon said he is working to push out another bill that will ban normal abortion procedures and that will not require his signature. He said this separate bill will not apply to cases of incest or rape or where the life of a mother and child are at risk. The bill will also allow doctors to recommend abortion where it is determined that a fetus has a lethal abnormality.
Some states in the US are also currently considering banning abortion and abortion pills, a development that gained traction since the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision that initially legalized abortion.