Wyoming has become the first state to ban abortion pills following a bill signed by Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday that made prescribing and selling them illegal.
The new law states that it will be “unlawful to prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell or use any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion.” This is the first state law of this nature to be implemented by Wyoming, according to a report from the Washington Post.
Governor Gordon stated his support for the bill as it strengthens “protections for the unborn.”
Breaking this law comes with a potential prison sentence of six years along with a fine of up to $9000.
Wyoming governor signs ban on abortion pills https://t.co/Vo37bN4fgv pic.twitter.com/DNLES5ItH1
— The Hill (@thehill) March 18, 2023
The law will go into effect beginning in July 2023. It exempts those who take abortion medication for life threatening situations, and also permits the drugs to be used for treatment in scenarios of natural miscarriages. (RELATED: ‘Incredibly Dangerous: Abortion Pill Campaign Targeted Colleges Campuses Nationwide)
Abortion rights advocacy groups expressed disappointment with the bill. The Wyoming American Civil Liberties Union director, Antonio Serrano said “a person’s health, not politics, should guide important medical decisions – including the decision to have an abortion”.
Currently Wyoming only has one operational abortion clinic, located in Jackson. Many states are still in legal fights over abortion rights from the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade in June 2022. Over a dozen have enforced a near total ban on abortions, some of which have been paused by the courts, the BBC reported.