Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon Signs Bill to Immediately Ban Abortions When Roe is Overturned

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 16, 2022   |   10:37AM   |   Cheyenne, Wyoming

Wyoming just became one of about a dozen states to protect unborn babies with a law that will immediately ban abortions once Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Republican Gov. Mark Gordon signed the pro-life “trigger” bill (House Bill 92) this week after it passed the state legislature by a strong majority, according to the governor’s website.

Sponsored by state Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams, R-Cody, the bill will ban abortions in Wyoming as soon as the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe. Exceptions will be allowed if the mother’s life is at risk and for victims of rape or incest.

“A trigger bill is an abortion ban in waiting,” Rodriguez-Williams told lawmakers in February. “The vast majority of Wyomingites support life from conception to natural death.”

The legislation would save nearly 100 unborn babies every year. Wyoming reported 91 abortions in 2020, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

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However, the American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming slammed the governor for his action Tuesday, describing abortion as a “fundamental freedom.”

“House Bill 92 puts unsound and unworkable processes into statute and deprives Wyomingites of one of their most fundamental freedoms,” said Libby Skarin, ACLU of Wyoming campaigns director, in a statement. “Gov. Gordon’s decision to sign this bill into law is disappointing, but the fight for abortion rights in Wyoming isn’t over.”

Currently, because of Roe, states are forced to legalize abortions up to viability. However, the Supreme Court is considering a Mississippi case that challenges that precedent, and a ruling is expected this summer.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates 26 states “are certain or likely to ban abortions” if the Supreme Court gets rid of Roe. Researchers estimate abortion numbers would drop by about 120,000 in the first year and potentially even more in subsequent years if the high court allows states to ban abortions again.

Across the country, state lawmakers are introducing legislation to protect unborn babies from abortion in the hopes that Roe soon will be overturned. Florida just passed a 15-week abortion ban that would save thousands of unborn babies from abortion every year, and the Idaho legislature passed a heartbeat bill this week. Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Arizona and other states also are advancing pro-life legislation this spring.

Meanwhile, pro-life advocates also are working to expand support services for pregnant and parenting moms.

Since Roe in 1973, more than 63.5 million unborn babies have been killed in abortions.