Judge temporarily blocks Wyoming's abortion ban

Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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

Teton County District Judge Melissa Owens issued a temporary restraining order on Wednesday, at the behest of six plaintiffs who argued that 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 raised concerns about health issues and an OB-GYN named Dr. Giovannina Anthony, who was concerned about being criminally punished.

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

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

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe via the Dobbs v. Jackson decision last month, Gordon certified HB 92 last week and confirmed that the ban would soon take effect.

“I believe that the decision to regulate abortion is properly left to the states. As a pro-life Governor, my focus will continue to be on ensuring we are doing 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, claiming that, if enforced, “Wyomingites 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,” stated Skarin last week.

Although several have successfully moved to ban abortion in most circumstances, a few states have been delayed in their efforts by litigation from local abortion providers.

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

“[Plaintiffs have] demonstrated at the very least a substantial question as to the merits regarding the constitutionality of both the Trigger Ban and the Six Week Ban,” ruled Perry.

“As such, they are entitled to injunctive relief until the matter can be fully resolved on the merits.”

In addition to being a reporter, Michael Gryboski has also had a novel released titled The Enigma of Father Vera Daniel. For more information, click here.

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