by Steven Ertelt
January 16, 2007
Cheyenne, WY (LifeNews.com) — The Wyoming state legislature is tackling three key bills that pro-life groups in the state are supporting. They include measures to compile accurate abortion statistics, providing women information on abortion’s risks and alternatives, and protecting pregnant women and unborn children from acts of violence.
Right to Life of Wyoming, the statewide pro-life group, says the three bills will go along way towards protecting the lives of women and children.
Two of the measures are sponsored by Rep. Bob Brechtel, a Casper Republican.
The first, HB 144, would give women the kind of information that they are frequently denied at abortion businesses such as data on the development of their unborn child. HB 144 makes sure that women considering an abortion receive information about the abortion procedure, its risks and alternatives.
"Unlike legitimate medical procedures, when women have abortions they are frequently left in the dark about its risks and alternatives," Right to Life of Wyoming President Steven Ertelt explained. "Women deserve to know this information that, when given in other states, has reduced abortions by helping them find better options."
However, Sharon Breitweiser, executive director of NARAL Wyoming, said her group opposes the bill and doesn’t want the state to give women information she considers erroneous or religious in nature.
Right to Life also supports HB 79, a measure that would have the state of Wyoming keep track of annual abortion statistics.
Most states publish annual information about abortion, such as the number of abortions each year, the age of the baby and mother at the time of the abortion, and whether there were any complications. Wyoming does not publish a public report, which would help groups like Right to Life offer alternatives.
RTLW is also backing SF 118, a measure sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso, a Casper doctor, that would protect pregnant women and their unborn children from violence.
The bill would ensure that criminals who kill a pregnant women and her baby before birth would receive two sentences — one for killing the mother and the other for her baby.
"This is a common sense law that protects pregnant women like Laci Peterson who are targeted because they are pregnant," Ertelt said.
Right to Life expects that abortion advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood and Wyoming NARAL will strenuously oppose the bill, even though it does not relate to abortions. Under the measure, a criminal must kill the pregnant mother and her baby for the sentence to apply, meaning legal abortions are not included.
"This bill has nothing to do with abortion and everything to do with making sure Wyoming women and their children receive proper justice," Ertelt said. "Anyone opposing this bill is doing a disservice to the women and children of our state."