Judge temporarily blocks Wyoming abortion ban
A U.S. District Court judge in Wyoming on Wednesday temporarily blocked a statewide abortion ban that came into effect over the weekend, according to multiple reports.
Driving the news: Judge Melissa Owens granted a restraining order due to a wider lawsuit challenging the state's new law that prohibits abortion at all stages of pregnancy except in cases of rape or incest, or to save a pregnant person's life, and another banning abortion pills that's due to take effect in July, per the New York Times.
- The new law that took effect Sunday makes abortions a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and states that "abortion defined in this act is not health care."
- Abortion rights groups argue that this violates Wyoming's constitution, which says adults have the right to make their own health care decisions.
What they're saying: "The state cannot legislate away a constitutional right," Owens said, per AP.
- "It’s not clear whether abortion is health care. The court has to then decide that," she added.
What's next: "Now, the medication abortion ban and the overall ban will be considered at a hearing where the plaintiffs will seek an injunction to suspend both laws until the full lawsuit can be heard," the New York Times reports.
- Wyoming would be the first U.S. state to ban abortion pills if the law were to go into effect on July 1.