Wyoming’s New Abortion Ban Temporarily Blocked By Judge

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A judge temporarily blocked Wyoming’s new abortion ban on Wednesday, just days after it took effect, The Associated Press reported.

The Wyoming Life is a Human Right Act, which bans all abortions except in cases of rape or saving the mother’s life, was passed by the Legislature in early March and took effect on Sunday. Teton County District Court Judge Melissa Owens suspended the ban Wednesday for at least two weeks after abortion-rights advocates argued during a hearing that it violates the state constitution and harms women, according to the AP.

Wyoming’s Constitution includes an amendment that states adults have the right to make their own health care decisions. The recently passed ban clarifies that abortion is “not health care,” but Owens said that determination is up to the courts. (RELATED: Wyoming Becomes First State To Ban Abortion Pills)

“The state can not legislate away a constitutional right. It’s not clear whether abortion is health care. The court has to then decide that,” Owens stated in an oral decision during the hearing Wednesday, according to the AP.

“The Legislative branch in Wyoming carried out what the Supreme Court’s decision gave states the green light to do,” bill sponsor Republican state Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “Every life is precious, and as the sponsor of the new law [I am] so proud of Wyoming’s tenacity and determination in protecting unborn children, supporting women, and upholding the dignity of the medical profession by enacting this pro-life law.”

Last July, the same judge blocked a similar trigger ban that took effect after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, again citing the Wyoming Constitution’s amendment on health care decisions.

On Friday, Republican Gov. Mark Gordon signed a separate bill banning the prescribing or selling of abortion pills, making Wyoming the first state in the nation to ban the pill. A nonprofit that intends to open Wyoming’s second abortion clinic, Wellspring Health Access, filed a lawsuit against this ban Tuesday.

The abortion pill ban is scheduled to take effect July 1. Owens did not address the pending lawsuit against this law during the Wednesday hearing, according to the AP.

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