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Janna Farley,

January 25, 2023

Today, the Senate Labor, Health and Social Services committee will consider a bill that would prohibit medication abortion and criminalize providers in Wyoming and interfere with the doctor-patient relationship.

The ACLU of Wyoming opposes Senate File 109. Health care decisions should be made between patients and their doctors – not politicians. Banning a safe and standard method of terminating a pregnancy creates unnecessary restrictions for people accessing essential medical care.

“The decision to have an abortion is deeply personal and should be left to patients and their doctors. But with Senate File 109, Wyoming lawmakers are trying to insert themselves into the doctor-patient relationship,” said Antonio Serrano, ACLU of Wyoming advocacy director. “It is time for state lawmakers to stop interfering and to stop playing politics with our health care.”

Medication abortion is safe, common and essential health care. It is preferred by some patients because it allows patients to have more control over their abortion and more privacy, and for some people it is not only preferred, but medically indicated. The most common method of medication abortion is a combination regimen of two oral medications: mifepristone and misoprostol. Since mifepristone was first approved by the FDA in 2000, more than 4 million patients in the United States have relied on the mifepristone-misoprostol regimen to safely end their pregnancies.

A 2022 PerryUndem survey found that voters prefer individual control on abortion over regulation by law. Though most polls force respondents to choose a side on bans, PerryUndem asked whether they want elected officials to regulate this issue in the first place. Most voters say no – they want only the individuals involved making decisions. In fact, 64 percent say the decision to have an abortion, including the reasons and situations for having an abortion, should not be regulated by law.

“Personal privacy and reproductive rights are among our most important liberties. Politicians shouldn’t be in the business of controlling our bodies or our futures,” Serrano said. “Senate File 109 poses a serious threat to the health and well-being of individuals seeking medication abortion care and ignores a pregnant person’s individual needs and circumstances. Banning a safe and standard method of terminating a pregnancy creates unnecessary restrictions for people accessing essential medical care.”

About the ACLU of Wyoming

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Wyoming is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and South Dakota. The team in Wyoming is supported by staff in those states.

The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.  In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ communities. The ACLU of Wyoming carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of Wyoming.