Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon gives the State of the State address at the Capitol in Cheyenne, Wyo., in March 2021. Michael Cummo / The Wyoming Tribune Eagle via AP, file

Governor Mark Gordon of Wyoming recently signed a bill that bans abortion pills in the state. He also allowed a separate measure that restricts abortion to become law without his signature. The latter law is known as the Life is a Human Right Act, and Governor Gordon expressed concern that it could result in a lawsuit that would delay any resolution to the constitutionality of the abortion ban in Wyoming.

The governor noted that earlier in the day, plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit filed a challenge to the new law in the event that he did not issue a veto. Governor Gordon believes that this question needs to be decided as soon as possible so that the issue of abortion in Wyoming can be finally resolved. He believes that the best way to resolve this issue is through a vote of the people.

Wyoming’s ban on abortion pills will take effect in July, pending any legal action that could potentially delay that. The implementation date of the sweeping legislation banning all abortions that Governor Gordon allowed to go into law is not specified in the bill.

Currently, with an earlier ban tied up in court, abortion remains legal in the state up to viability, or when the fetus could survive outside the womb.

Governor Gordon’s decision on abortion pills comes after they took center stage this week in Texas. In Texas, a federal judge raised questions about a Christian group’s effort to overturn the decades-old U.S. approval of a leading abortion drug, mifepristone.

Abortion is a contentious issue, and the Wyoming governor’s decision highlights the ongoing debate around this topic. The decision to ban abortion pills has implications for women who may have had limited access to healthcare or face logistical barriers to in-person visits with healthcare providers. The Life is a Human Right Act restricts abortion and raises questions about reproductive rights and bodily autonomy.

The governor’s concern about potential lawsuits delaying the resolution to the constitutionality of the abortion ban in Wyoming highlights the legal challenges that states face when enacting restrictive abortion laws. With previous abortion bans tied up in court, the implementation of the sweeping legislation banning all abortions raises questions about the future of abortion in Wyoming.

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