Wyoming Governor Rejects Abortion Bill

Bill REJECTED - Governor Says NO!

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The Republican governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon, has taken a stance against the predominantly Republican-controlled state legislature. Governor Gordon opted to veto a bill aimed at the state’s sole full-service abortion clinic. His decision wasn’t driven by a disagreement with its pro-life stance but rather due to concerns about the bill’s vulnerability to legal challenges and its potential to impede efforts to address the abortion issue effectively.

Received on March 22, Governor Gordon was presented with two bills newly approved by the Wyoming Legislature, where Republicans hold a significant majority — with 20 out of 31 state senators and 57 out of 62 representatives being from the GOP. Among the bills, one was a prohibition on gender-affirming care for minors, which the governor endorsed. The second bill aimed to impose stringent regulations on the state’s sole clinic providing both surgical and pharmaceutical abortions.

Should it have been approved, the legislation would have mandated women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound examination at least 48 hours before the procedure. Additionally, it would have compelled all physicians conducting abortions to possess admitting privileges at a hospital located within a ten-mile radius of the clinic. Julie Burkhart, the founder of the Wellspring Health Access clinic, contended that admitting privileges were superfluous and alleged that the bill’s objective was to close down the clinic.

Governor Gordon utilized his gubernatorial veto authority to decline signing the bill, yet his action doesn’t necessarily signify alignment with Burkhart’s perspective. Notably, last year, Gordon endorsed another bill that prohibited abortion within the state. Although this law is presently under suspension following a federal judge’s injunction, it is slated for review by the state’s supreme court, where the governor anticipates a determination regarding the constitutionality of abortion in Wyoming. 

Following his veto of the recent bill, Gordon cautioned that its enactment might prolong the process of reaching a legal verdict. However, he also remarked that it could have instituted appropriate regulations for clinics, implying a perception of inadequacy in their current regulation.

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