On Friday, Wyoming became the first US state to ban the drug mifepristone. Known as the abortion pill, outside the scope of a comprehensive ban on abortion. Wyoming’s ban is just one of several new efforts across the country to ban access to abortion — or severely punish those who seek abortion care.
With surgical abortion difficult if not impossible to access in Wyoming, medical abortion was the only abortion care option in the state.
since Roe v. Wade This past summer, states like Wyoming, South Carolina, and Texas have made repeated attempts against abortion rights, with varying degrees of success. Wyoming Abortion is prohibited by a trigger ban that was passed prior to the Supreme Court’s decision Dobbs v. Jackson Although it is It is currently being challenged in court. Anti-abortion legislation has proven unpopular and complex for its age in many states, opening the door to alternative solutions as vigorous as Wyoming’s.
All forms of abortion are illegal twelve statesincluding medical abortion. But Wyoming is the first state to criminalize the use of the abortion pill outside of a complete ban that goes into effect. Medical abortion, or self-managed abortion, can be a preferred option for terminating pregnancies up to 10 weeks because it can be taken at home—especially important in cases and situations where surgical abortion is difficult to access—it is safe and less expensive than surgical abortion.
That option is now gone in Wyoming and it could be been eliminated or reduced across the country depending on the outcome Federal court case in Texas. Judge Matthew Kacsmarek, a Trump appointee with ties to conservative groups, is currently hearing argument in The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine vs. the Food and Drug Administration Mifepristone is not safe, despite the fact that it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration more than 20 years ago. Kacsmaryk is expected to be ordered by the US Food and Drug Administration Withdraw her consent to the drugleading to a lengthy appeals process.
Even if Kacsmaryk joins the FDA, other states may try to follow Wyoming’s lead even if they are unable to ban abortion entirely. Or they might try something like the bill proposed in the South Carolina House of Representatives in January that would qualify a fertilized egg as a person, making anyone who has an abortion eligible for the death penalty under South Carolina law.
With statewide abortion bans being challenged in the courts, lawmakers are trying to find new, more creative, and draconian ways to limit access to abortion—and it’s not clear they’ll stop at banning mifepristone or charging women who have abortions with murder. .
Abortion care will be an uphill battle for Wyoming women
Wyoming has tried to enact anti-abortion legislation ever since Dobbs decide; Mark Gordon signed the disputed abortion ban into law last March. this is the law , Still pending by the courtsAbortion is prohibited by all except in the case of rape or incest, or if the pregnancy poses a serious risk to the health of the mother. In issuing a preliminary injunction, the judge in the case found the law to be too vague, and likely to violate the state’s constitutional right to health care.
Wyoming’s ban on mifepristone is based on Life is an act of human rightswhich goes into effect Sunday and circumvents the Constitution by claiming that abortion is not actually Medicare — otherwise it would be subject to the same constitutional criticism as last year’s ban.
“The impact of this legislation not only violates our constitutional rights, it causes actual harm,” said Dr. Giovannina Anthony, MD, an ob-gyn at the Women’s Health and Family Care Clinic in Jackson. The New York Times. “The criminalization of evidence-based medicine is really what this boils down to, and ultimately, frankly, it will lead to maternal deaths and horrific outcomes for both mothers and children.”
Anthony’s Clinic is the only facility in the state that still practices abortion care, and only provides access to medical abortion – mifepristone. She is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Trigger Ban and told the Times that she and fellow plaintiffs had sued “Life is a Human Right.” She said they would also challenge a ban on the abortion pill.
Court challenges are essentially the only recourse advocates for abortion care have right now, Wyoming Representative Mike Yin told Vox in an interview. In Wyoming, there are five Democrats in the House of Representatives out of 62, and two in the Senate out of 31, so [legislative] The options are kind of limited, unfortunately,” said Yin, a Democrat who represents Teton County.
Only one place in Wyoming is desperately after abortion rights
Of course, Wyoming isn’t the only state pushing for more stringent restrictions on abortion. South Carolina It also makes national news this week A bill that would classify a fertilized egg as a human is under consideration by the state House of Representatives. Under South Carolina’s proposed law, an abortion would be tantamount to murder, and the person who performed the abortion could be sentenced to prison — or the death penalty.
“South Carolina legislators have tried in every legislative session to advance a fetal personality bill” for the past 25 years, Vicki Ringer, South Carolina director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said in an interview with Vox. The new bill is called Prenatal Equal Protection Act“She’s the craziest,” Ringer said she’s seen while working for reproductive rights.
The bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Rob Harris, a Republican who represents Spartanburg County, is a member of the South Carolina Freedom Rally. Like its congressional counterpart, the group advocates for far-right legislative positions based on controversial culture war issues. Harris himself said last week before the House of Representatives that he believes the 2020 election was illegitimate.
Harris’ bill, which has 15 sponsors, makes an exception for the life or health of the mother, but not for rape or incest. It is also clear that no medical practitioner who performs an abortion to save a pregnant woman’s life can be charged with murder under the legislation. Harris himself is a registered nurse with 10 children, according to a recent profile of him at the state. Harris did not respond to multiple requests for comment on his legislation.
If passed, Harris’ bill would override the state’s current abortion laws, Ringer told Vox. Abortion remains legal in South Carolina, despite numerous legislative attempts to limit abortion rights, including the most recent, the Human Life Protection Act. This bill has already been passed in the House of Representatives and will ban abortion except in cases of death or serious physical harm to the pregnant woman. It does not make exceptions for rape or incest but prohibits criminal charges against people who have an abortion. According to Ringer, it also “leaves open the possibility of investigating abortion” as a murder, and punishing anyone for a medical emergency that they cannot control.
“What we’ve seen in South Carolina is 75 to 80 percent of people are in favor of abortion rights,” Ringer said. Rob Harris represents an extremist group. Ringer said she still sees a situation where the House could “make an amendment or two” and the bill would pass. Regarding whether South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, a Republican, would sign such legislation, Ringer told Vox, “I think McMaster would sign anything on abortion as long as it’s passed by the General Assembly. He’s trying to prove his conservative good faith.”
in TexasAbortion is already illegal and the state employs a vigilante enforcement mechanism — private citizens can sue those they suspect of aiding or abetting abortion. This is what is happening now. A man is suing three friends of his ex-wife for helping her obtain abortion pills last year.
The lawsuit alleges that the three women “were all known to aid or abet a self-administered abortion, which is an illegal act and a crime under Texas law.” Two of the defendants offered to allow a pregnant woman to have a medical abortion in their homes and provided her with links to websites where she could order abortion pills. A third defendant who allegedly helped deliver grain to Houston, Reuters reports.
The plaintiff, Marcos Silva, is suing each defendant for $1 million. “Anyone involved in distributing or manufacturing abortion pills will be prosecuted into oblivion,” Brisco CainSilva’s attorney and representative for the state of Texas, he said in a statement.
The multiple and overlapping bans on access to abortion in South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming, perhaps the country leaving the door open for more extreme measures against reproductive health, such as restriction or Some forms are prohibited Birth control. “It’s a slippery slope,” Ringer said. “What then?”