CHEYENNE, Wyo. — During this morning’s Wyoming Legislature Senate Floor Session, Senate file 133 passed the third reading on the Senate floor in a 22-7 vote. The bill entitled, prohibiting abortifacients and chemical abortions, prohibits the use of drugs for abortions with a criminal penalty for violation. Senator Mike Gierau of Teton County voted against the bill.
The bill states, “No person shall manufacture, distribute, prescribe, dispense, sell, transfer, or use any abortifacient drug in the state for the purpose of the procuring or performing an abortion.”
Following the vote, Senators Bill Landen and Drew Perkins spoke on the floor about their decision to vote against this bill.
“Unfortunately every week or two in my home town in the emergency room, there are arrivals at that door of women of all ages who have been the victims of crimes, rape and other forms of violence, incest, and one of the things that are commonplace with each of those victims is to request the ability to make sure they are not pregnant from the violent act,” said Landen.
“The bill that we just passed wipes out the ability for families to have that conversation with their doctor, I can’t imagine that we would want to saddle a woman with that sort of tragedy for the rest of their lives but thats what this bill does and Mr. President thats why I can not support the senate file 133.“
The bill does not prohibit the use of contraception prior to conception or before pregnancy can be confirmed through conventional medical testing.
The bill outlines the criminal charges for any person who violates the bill, including physicians. The original bill defined the crime as a felony, punishable by imprisonment for no more than 14 years, and a fine of $10,000 or both. Upon the second reading of the bill, an amendment was added, changing the charges to a misdemeanor, punishable by 6 months in jail, $750 fine or both.
Sen. Perkins said, “While we may not agree with the constitutional interpretation of the Supreme Court of the United States, nevertheless it has interpreted that. And this bill directly infringes upon that constitutional pronouncement that has been determined by the United States Supreme Court.” He also discussed the other abortion laws that are already enacted in Wyoming.
Sen. Perkins said, “it also creates two crimes, a crime that now if quite frankly abortion whether chemical or surgical is committed in this state it is now punishable under the existing law but if it’s a chemical abortion it may now be punishable under this law.”
The bill is being sponsored by Senators Salazar, Biteman, Bouchard, French, and Steinmetz and Representatives Baker, Gray, Jennings, and Wharff.
The bill will now need to be passed in the House of Representatives before heading to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
Another bill, Senate File 34 was introduced on the floor of the House after passing the third reading in the Senate. “Born alive infant- means of care” would amend 35-06-104, striking out the language, “with any chance of survival” and would add “Any physician performing an abortion shall take medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of an infant born alive.”
In 2020, the same amendment was based by the legislature but was vetoed by Governor Gordon. He said, “this bill will harm people it never intended to harm – parents who want a child but have received the devastating news that their pregnancy is not viable. The State should not seek to make that moment for parents any more tragic than it already is. For this reason, I am vetoing this bill.”