WASHINGTON: Wyoming became the first US state to ban the use of abortion pills, the latest salvo in a campaign by conservative-led states to roll back access to abortion.
After signing the ban on abortion pills, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon appealed to legislators to act further by proposing a total ban on abortion be added to the state constitution and then putting it before voters for approval.
“I believe this question needs to be decided as soon as possible so that the issue of abortion in Wyoming can be finally resolved, and that is best done with a vote of the people,” the Republican governor said in a statement.
The Wyoming action comes amid a flurry of activity across the country by anti-abortion groups seeking to win a total ban on abortions following a landmark Supreme Court ruling last year.
Also looming is a ruling in a federal courtroom in Texas, where a judge is expected to decide imminently on a possible national ban on a widely used abortion pill.
The pill, mifepristone, was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration more than a decade ago and has been legally available for years.
Texas judge Matthew Kacsmaryk could order the abortion pill taken off the market across the country.
Texas legislators are also considering a proposal that would not only ban abortion pills but also require internet service providers in the state to block access to websites where such pills are for sale by mail.
Gordon, the Wyoming governor, said he would not back down in the fight against abortion.
“I believe all life is sacred and that every individual, including the unborn, should be treated with dignity and compassion,” Gordon said in a letter Friday evening to the secretary of state.
Since the US Supreme Court last year overturned a 1973 ruling that established abortion as a constitutional right, anti-abortion activists have sought ways to enshrine a ban across the nation.
About 15 states already restrict access to mifepristone by requiring a physician to provide it, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research group.