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Wyoming judge suspends a new law that would have banned abortion pills

The new ruling pauses a law to ban abortion pills that would have gone into effect July 1.
Wyoming judge suspends a new law that would have banned abortion pills
Posted at 9:02 PM, Jun 22, 2023

A judge ruled on Thursday that Wyoming's imminent ban on abortion pills won't take effect as planned on July 1.

In March, Wyoming passed the first state law in the nation that specifically banned abortion pills. Other states already have laws on the books that ban all or most forms of abortion, including medicated abortion.

A group brought a lawsuit challenging Wyoming's planned ban in March.

Four women, two of whom are obstetricians, and two nonprofit groups, one of which operates an abortion clinic in Casper, Wyoming, sued and asked the judge to suspend the planned abortion pill rule for the duration of their case.

Teton County Judge Melissa Owens said there was the potential of harm to the plaintiffs if the ban went into effect as planned.

SEE MORE: The state of abortion 1 year after Dobbs decision

The lawsuit also aims to overturn a state law passed in March that nearly totally bans abortion in Wyoming. Judge Owens suspended that law for the duration of the new suit.

Wyoming's abortion laws, enacted after Roe v. Wade was overturned, have exceptions to save a life, and for rape or incest that is reported to the police.

Wyoming officials have promised to defend the new laws.

Meanwhile, a Wyoming constitutional amendment from 2012, referenced in court arguments in this new case, holds that residents have the right to health care decisions.

Medicated abortion is also subject to federal litigation. In April the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that access to mifepristone would remain legal while lawsuits against FDA approval of the drug proceed.

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