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You are here News Health Judge temporarily blocks Wyoming abortion ban days after it took effect

Judge temporarily blocks Wyoming abortion ban days after it took effect

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Dr. Giovannini wins tempoary ban on abortion pills

A Wyoming judge temporarily blocked a state abortion ban that went into effect over the weekend, a decision that makes abortion legal in the state for now.

Teton County District Court Judge Melissa Owens granted an order Wednesday blocking the law's enforcement for at least two weeks as the court considers a lawsuit filed against the state by abortion providers.

The sweeping "Life is a Human Right Act" bans abortions in the state at all stages of pregnancy, except in cases of rape or incest, or to save the pregnant person's life.

Owens did not weigh in on another new abortion law set to take effect July 1 that bans the manufacturing, distribution and sale of abortion pills. Wyoming is the first state in the country to ban abortion pills.

The decision comes after a hearing Wednesday during which abortion access advocates argued the law harms pregnant people and violates rights granted in the state constitution.

An amendment in the Wyoming Constitution says adults have a right to make their own health care decisions. As a result,  Republican lawmakers defined abortion as "not health care" in the ban.

Owens said it's up to the courts, not lawmakers, to decide what constitutes health care in this case.

"The state can not legislate away a constitutional right," Owens said in an oral decision at the end of the hearing. "It’s not clear whether abortion is health care. The court has to then decide that."


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