Wyoming abortion ban temporarily blocked by judge

Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

A judge temporarily blocked a Wyoming law that would have banned most abortions after an emergency hearing was held the day the measure was due to take effect.

Teton County District Judge Melissa Owens issued a temporary restraining order on Wednesday, at the request of six plaintiffs who argued the ban would harm them.

Owens, who was appointed by Gov. Mark Gordon, issued the temporary restraining order from the bench, according to Jackson Hole News.

Two of the plaintiffs included a pregnant woman who worried about health issues and an OB-GYN named Dr. Giovannina Anthony, who feared criminal punishment.

In March, Gordon signed into law House Bill 92, a trigger measure that would ban most abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the 1973 ruling. Roe vs. Wade.

The ban, which included exemptions for rape, incest and life-threatening maternal medical emergencies, passed the state Senate 24-5 with one abstention and the House 45-14 with one abstention .

When the Supreme Court overturned deer through the Dobbs vs. Jackson decision last month, Gordon certified HB 92 last week and confirmed that the ban would soon come into effect.

“I believe that the decision to regulate abortion is rightly left to the states. As Pro-Life Governor, my focus will continue to be to ensure that we do all we can to support mothers, children and families,” he tweeted.

Libby Skarin of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming denounced the trigger ban, saying that if enforced, “people in Wyoming will have fewer rights than people in other states.”

“A person’s health, not politics, should guide important health care decisions, including the decision to have an abortion,” Skarin said last week.

Although several have succeeded in banning abortion in most cases, a few states have been delayed in their efforts by disputes with local abortion providers.

In Kentucky, Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry issued a temporary injunction against the state to enforce two abortion bans, one of which would ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, while the another was another trigger ban.

“[Plaintiffs have] demonstrated at the very least a substantial question as to the constitutionality of the trigger ban and the six-week ban,” Perry said.

“As such, they are entitled to an injunction until the case can be fully resolved on the merits.”

Besides being a journalist, Michael Gryboski has also published a novel called The Riddle of Father Vera Daniel. For more information, click here.

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