As you probably read in the headlines, the Wyoming Legislature passed the most draconian laws to limit access to abortion care in all forms. Before I get into that, there is something you can do. I want to highlight a group that is supporting Wyoming Abortion Access. Chelsea’s Fund is litigating and so far has put a pause on the implementation of these laws. I encourage you to help them out.
These recent anti-abortion bills were finalized and passed as our state celebrates Women’s History Month. Our Congressional delegation makes a big deal about how progressive Wyoming was back in the day. (In 1869 Wyoming women earned the right to vote. Our State Seal, adopted in 1893, has our motto “Equal Rights”. In 1925 Nellie Tayloe Ross became the nation’s first woman governor.) I don’t feel much like celebrating. The Republicans have been taking us backward.
Here are the specifics on the anti-abortion horrors that have taken place in Wyoming this month.
Senate File 0109 deems “it shall be unlawful to prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell or use any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion on any person.”
To add insult to injury, House Bill 0152 gives more rights to a blastocyst than to a fully formed human, they even redefined “health care” to state that it does not include abortion care. It reads:
Regarding article 1, section 38 of the Wyoming constitution, abortion as defined in this act is not health care. Instead of being health care, abortion is the intentional termination of the life of an unborn baby.
They created this new definition to attempt get around the state Constitutional Amendment passed in 2012 in reaction to Obamacare, that states
ARTICLE 2--Sec. 38. Right of health care access.
(a) Each competent adult shall have the right to make his or her own health care decisions. The parent, guardian or legal representative of any other natural person shall have the right to make health care decisions for that person.
(b) Any person may pay, and a health care provider may accept, direct payment for health care without imposition of penalties or fines fordoing so.
(c) The legislature may determine reasonable and necessary restrictions on the rights granted under this section to protect the health and general welfare of the people or to accomplish the other purposes set forth in the Wyoming Constitution.
(d) The state of Wyoming shall act to preserve these rights from undue governmental infringement.
Now the Republicans are trying to tell us that when we voted for ARTICLE 2--Sec. 38 in 2012, we voters didn’t mean that the state couldn’t control our uteruses and that such control does not constitute “undue governmental infringement”. I disagree, obviously, what could be more tyrannical?
We who make up the resistance to the forced-birth movement have been lobbying, organizing, and marching, but the only thing that can prevent such laws from being enacted is to get more Democrats in the Wyoming Legislature. In the past the Wyoming Republicans leaned more libertarian and opposed anti-abortion bills, but their party has been overtaken by radicals. The remaining libertarian-type Republicans roll over and allow these bills to pass.
Our few, but mighty, elected Democrats in the state house need more colleagues to defeat these bills. The Wyoming Democratic Party will not give up. The state party has been working to build county party infrastructure, increase voter registration, and support candidates, but it takes more money and staff. So here is another way you can help: Support Democrats in red states. We’re fighting the good fight.
Please donate to the Wyoming Democratic Party.