By Kate Scanlon
(OSV News) — Wyoming’s legislature passed two pieces of legislation in March that would restrict abortion in the state, but the governor has yet to sign them into law, saying he is evaluating whether they may pose “unforeseen consequences.”
The bills, one of which would prohibit most abortions in the state with narrow exceptions for cases of rape or incest, risks to the mother’s life, or “a lethal fetal anomaly,” and another that would restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs, were approved by the state’s legislature.
Local media reported Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, told reporters in a March 7 press conference he is weighing the bills’ constitutionality, and wants to ensure there is an understanding of “how they interplay with one another; how they interplay with existing law.”
“And then also whether there are any unforeseen consequences that could be problematic,” he said.
State law gives Gordon 15 days to veto legislation if he so chooses, otherwise it becomes law.
Gordon announced a list of his recently signed bills on March 9, including legislation to boost the state’s tourism economy and efforts to protect the state’s Native American cultures, but the abortion bills were not among those he signed at that time.
Asked about the status of the bills, a spokesman for Gordon told OSV News March 10 that the governor has until March 18 to consider them.
Gordon is “considering those bills carefully, along with all the remaining bills that he has yet to act on,” the spokesman said.
Gordon has signed pro-life measures during his tenure.
The ACLU of Wyoming called on Gordon to veto the bills, circulating a petition arguing that “Deeply private, personal, and unique decisions about abortion should be made by pregnant people in consultation with their doctors — who should be able to treat their patients according to their best medical (judgment).”
Students for Life Action, the lobbying arm of Students for Life of America, urged Gordon to sign both bills, which the group characterized as important efforts to protect mothers as well as the preborn.
“Preborn children in Wyoming needed their representatives to step up to bat for them, and that’s exactly what we saw play out through a grueling amendment process thanks to principled leaders who boldly defended the preborn,” Dustin Curtis, SFL Action vice president of political affairs and operations, said in a statement.
Adam Schwend, SBA Pro-Life America’s western regional director, said in a statement that the legislation sent to Gordon’s desk “values all human life, born and unborn, and the wellbeing of women.”
“SBA Pro-Life America applauds every lawmaker who played a role in advancing safeguards against dangerous chemical abortion drugs, extending medical coverage for moms to a year after childbirth and protecting unborn children of all ages,” Schwend said. “We applaud legislators for being champions for the most vulnerable among us and advocates for the health, safety and security of mothers. We look forward to Gov. Gordon signing these bills and establishing Wyoming as a shining example of building a culture of life in the Dobbs era.”