Wyoming has become the first state to outlaw chemical abortion.
Republican Gov. Mark Gordon signed legislation Friday that would make it “unlawful to prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell or use any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion on any person.”
Gordon also said he would allow another more sweeping measure banning abortion to become law without his signature. “That law, which takes effect on Sunday, would ban abortion under almost all circumstances, making it a felony to provide an abortion,” the New York Times reported.
Barring any court challenges, Wyoming’s chemical abortion ban will take effect July 1. Doctors or anyone else found guilty of violating it would be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in prison and a $9,000 fine. The law exempts pregnant women from charges and penalties.
The legislation comes as other states seek to limit access to the “abortion pill,” and a federal court case is challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s original approval of the drugs 20 years ago.
According to mainstream media, abortion drugs are now the most common way women terminate their pregnancies. The FDA says it is for pregnancies of 10 weeks or less.
It’s generally a two-step method involving mifepristone, which blocks a hormone the unborn child needs to live, and misoprostol, which causes contractions to expel the dead child from the mother’s womb.
Restrictions against chemical abortion are already included in many states’ bans on all forms of abortion, enacted or revived in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. But some have initiated specific bans, including Texas, where a bill would not only prohibit use of the drugs but require internet service providers to block information about them.
Iowa also introduced a chemical abortion ban this year, but the bill did not make it to a vote before the legislative session ended. A similar proposal in Hawaii, a Democratic state, seems unlikely to succeed.