Wyoming Abortion Laws
Abortion is one of the polarizing issues in America - it makes for passionate debate. Wyoming has similar abortion laws as other states, with standard consent requirements for unmarried minors but no statutory waiting periods. Only fully licensed doctors may perform the procedure, which may only be done before the fetus is viable (meaning able to survive outside of the womb) or where the termination is necessary to save the mother’s life.
In Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a woman's right to have an abortion through viability. Wyoming has a "trigger ban" in place that would prohibit most abortions if Roe is overruled. The Supreme Court is currently considering a legal challenge to Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health. A decision is expected in June 2022.
Abortion laws in Wyoming are highlighted in the chart below.
|Code Section||35-6-101 to 118|
|Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion||(1) Any procedure after viability that is not "necessary," (2) M.D. who intentionally terminates viability of unborn fetus during legal abortion; (3) use of other than accepted medical procedures, other than licensed M.D. (including pregnant woman) performs act, procedure, prescription administered to produce premature expulsion, removal, or termination of fetus except when continuation of pregnancy threatens fetus's viability; (4) using public funds for abortion other than those resulting from incest or sexual assault|
|Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion||After viability, necessary to preserve health, life of mother according to appropriate medical judgment|
|Penalty for Unlawful Abortion||M.D. aborting viable fetus, use of other than accepted medical procedures, person other than M.D. performing abortion: felony, imprisonment up to 14 years|
|Consent Requirements||Unemancipated Minor's written consent and one of minor's parents must have written notification 48 hours before abortion; M.D. must have minor's and one parent's consent or court order; minor can petition court to waive parental consent. Consent not required for an emergency.|
|Residency Requirements for Patients||-|
|Physician Licensing Requirements||Licensed M.D.|
The landmark case Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, and ever since the national debate surrounding abortion has continued to divide the country and abortion laws have continued to evolve. Since then, women have had a Constitutional right to choose whether to end a pregnancy during the first trimester, and abortion in the United States has been legal. That said, states are permitted to regulate certain aspects of abortion including the ability to impose counseling, waiting periods, and other requirements. Generally speaking, there is little or no legal way to have an abortion after the second trimester, unless the mother’s life is in danger.
As noted above, the Supreme Court is currently considering a legal challenge to Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health. A decision is expected in June 2022.
Wyoming Abortion Laws: Related Resources
The choice to have an abortion can have serious emotional and legal consequences. If you would like legal assistance with an abortion matter, or just want to know your rights and responsibilities, you can contact a health care attorney in Wyoming. You can also visit FindLaw’s sections on abortion, birth control, and health care law for more information and resources on this topic.
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