CHEYENNE — The Wyoming House of Representatives passed a measure on third reading today that would require a 48-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion.
The bill passed the House on a 39-17 vote. However, all of Sweetwater County’s delegation voted against the measure.
Physicians must currently inform patients about technology that allows them the option to view ultrasounds of unborn fetuses and hear fetus heartbeats if audible.
The proposed legislation would require patients to wait at least 48-hours after the physician has informed them of the option to view and/or hear the fetus before an abortion can be performed.
One exception written into the bill would allow an abortion prior to the 48-hour mandate when its deemed medically necessary to protect the life of a woman.
Sweetwater County Representative Stan Blake (H39), JoAnn Dayton-Selman (H17), John Freeman (H60) and Clark Stith (H48) all vote against HB0197 this morning.
Dayton-Selman said she voted against the bill as a whole, but she did support an amendment that was passed in addition to the original bills. The original bill contained the following language: “Any physician or other person who violates the 48-hour rule is guilty of a felony punishable of imprisonment of not more than 10 years”.
“This was not consistent with state statutes,” she said. “The adopted amendment reduced the (physician) violation to a misdemeanor of one year, and a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.”
Dayton-Selman was disappointed by the bill’s passage saying “women’s rights and freedoms are being diminished by abortion bills introduced in the Wyoming State Legislature this session.
The measure now moves on the Wyoming Senate for consideration next week.