Legislators in Wyoming have passed a bill that requires abortion providers to provide medical assistance to a baby that survives the procedure.
Senate File 97, also rendered SF0097, passed the Wyoming House last week in a vote of 44-16, having previously passed the state Senate.
Michael Pearlman, communications director for the office of Governor Mark Gordon, told The Christian Post on Wednesday that the governor has not decided what action to take on the bill.
“The governor is still considering this bill,” explained Pearlman. “This bill was delivered to him after adjournment of the legislative session, which means he has 15 days to act on it.”
Also titled “Born alive infant-means of care,” the bill requires abortion providers to take steps to help a baby that survives an abortion procedure.
“The commonly accepted means of care that would be rendered to any other infant born alive shall be employed in the treatment of any viable infant aborted alive,” reads SF0097. “Any physician performing an abortion shall take medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of an infant born alive.”
The measure also states that “parents of an infant born alive shall not be held criminally or civilly liable for the actions of a physician under this section.”
Critics of the proposed legislation included the Wyoming chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued that the bill was unnecessary in light of other state laws.
“Our state already has a law prohibiting abortions after viability (except to preserve a woman's life or health),” stated the ACLU chapter.
“Wyoming physicians perform abortions only during the first trimester of pregnancy, no doctor has ever been charged with violating this law.”
Republican State Senator Cheri Steinmetz, sponsor of the bill, told the Cheyenne-based KGAB last month that she considered the legislation a clarification of existing law.
“That’s our job in the legislative session: we clarify law all the time,” said Steinmetz. “That’s what this bill seeks to do.”
Last month, the U.S. Senate failed to advance a similar bill introduced by Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska known as the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.”