Abortion Access in Wyoming: An word from WCADVSA
As of today (July 8, 2022), nothing has changed in the state of Wyoming since June 24, 2022 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Roe which granted every person the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy depending on circumstances and later rulings of the Court. But Roe was overturned in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center on June 24, 2022, sending the abortion issue back to the States to decide.
We may not know abortion is illegal in Wyoming until August 2022. Below is a detailed summary of what has to happen in Wyoming before abortion becomes illegal in Wyoming. Please connect with Tara Muir with any questions about this summary.
In Wyoming, abortion is still legal -- although it has long been nearly impossible to access as a surgical or medical procedure. However, in March 2022, the Wyoming legislature passed HB92. It is one of the "trigger laws" that many other states have passed. Several states had a very quick process to outlaw abortion with their trigger law. However, Wyoming's HB92 is still pending because:
HB92 outlaws abortion by amending W.S. 35-6-102 AFTER a process is followed in Wyoming except in these circumstances:
when necessary to preserve the woman from a serious risk of death or
of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function or
as a result of incest as defined by W.S. 6-4-402 or
sexual assault as defined by W.S. 6-2-301.
(note there is no exception for emotional or mental impairment).
The process starts with the Wyoming Attorney General (AG) having 30 days after the Dobbs decision (could be up to July 25, 2022) to provide
a report to the Governor and the Legislature's joint judiciary interim committee.
The AG's report must determine whether a decision like Dobbs would make the amended 35-6-102 in HB92 fully authorized to enforce. HB92 specifically says the AG is to determine if the the Supreme Court of the United States has overruled Roe "in a manner that would authorize the enforcement of this law or has otherwise issued a final decision related to abortion that would authorize the enforcement of this law in accordance with that decision and without violating any conditions, rights or restrictions recognized by the supreme court.
After the Governor receives the report, he MAY, if applicable, certify the results of the review to the office of the secretary of state.
While no one is holding out much hope that this "process" will somehow stop the outlawing of abortion with the exceptions above. We will continue to keep you posted where we are in the process.