Wyoming’s Republican governor, Mark Gordon, has passed a bill banning the use of abortion pills in the state, making him the first to do so in the United States. A bill was also passed restricting most abortions in the state, allowing them only in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk. These decisions come as a judge in Texas is expected to rule in a case that will determine nationwide access to the abortion pill mifepristone.
An association of anti-abortion physicians filed a lawsuit before Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk to force the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revoke approval of mifepristone in the country. This drug, approved in 2000, has been at the center of the abortion debate in the US in recent weeks. The Walgreens drugstore chain decided in early March not to distribute abortion pills in states with Republican governments or where party officials have threatened to sue if the drugs are offered. Mifepristone is generally used in conjunction with misoprostol to terminate a pregnancy before the end of the third month of gestation. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 54% of abortions performed in the United States in the last two years have been performed with this type of medication.
A ruling banning the restriction of abortion pills would be one of the biggest reproductive rights controversies in this country since the Supreme Court overturned “Roe v. Wade” last year. Gordon’s decision to ban abortion pills and restrict most abortions in the state has been criticized by reproductive rights advocates, who argue that the law limits women’s access to health care and restricts their reproductive rights.