Lawmakers reshape chemical abortion ban bill
March 2, 2023
CHEYENNE — The Wyoming House of Representatives reshaped the chemical abortion prohibition bill on Tuesday with changes lawmakers felt addressed the heart of the issue.
Rep. Barry Crago, R-Buffalo, introduced his amendment to delete references to chemical abortion drugs, and shift the intent of the bill to banning the procedure of chemical abortions. He said it broadened the purpose of the bill, and leaves it without a chilling effect on pharmacists and physicians who use the drugs for purposes that are legal under the bill.
Removing the specification of certain drugs, such as mifespristone or mifeprex, would also prevent loopholes in the chemical abortion ban, he said.
Crago said if the drugs often used for the procedures changed names, or manufacturers developed new medications, the legislation would still cover the prohibition.
“It just makes the bill stronger and easier for us to understand going forward,” he concluded.
Crago worked with bill sponsor Sen.Tim Salazar, R-Riverton, and was supported by Wyoming Freedom Caucus members in his efforts.
They had fought against removing certain drugs in the previous House Committee of the Whole debate and wanted to close any opportunities for individuals to perform chemical abortions under direction from a physician or by themselves.
Rep. Jeremy Haroldson, R-Wheatland, a member of the caucus, said he was grateful for the opportunity to better the policy. He reiterated the point made by Crago that when certain prescriptions are codified into law, then there is a chance for new ones to arise in response to legislation.
“Do we continue to codify new prescriptions to try to address this?” he asked. “Or do we sit there and kind of whack it at the knees?”
Other Republicans found the amendment favorable, and there was a sense of camaraderie as lawmakers thanked one another for speaking with the bill sponsor and working together.
Rep. Steve Harshman, R-Casper, said it’s what they do: make bills better.
“This is truly now a Wyoming bill that was written, that’ll fit in our statutes the right way and will be able to stand the test of time,” he said. “So, appreciate the good work by everybody.”
Senate File 109 heads to its third and final reading on Wednesday.