Legislative Restrictions on Access to Abortion

We trust people to make the best decisions about their health care for their own lives.

Politicians should too. However, far too many anti-choice extremists at all levels of government continue to propose laws that restrict a person’s ability to access safe and legal abortion.

Anti-choice legislators at the state and national levels have passed laws that limit a person’s access to abortion care by placing unnecessary, harmful restrictions on abortion and banning federal and state funding for the procedure in most cases.

Every person should have the autonomy to make decisions about their body and their life.


Wyoming Laws

The Wyoming Statutes include an entire section dealing with — and restricting — abortion.  This is Article 35, Section 6.


The “Hyde Amendment”

The Hyde amendment is a discriminatory federal policy that restricts access to abortion for people who receive their health care through the government. This far-reaching policy affects many programs, resulting in millions of people being denied insurance coverage for abortion care. They include:

  • People enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare
  • Native American people
  • U.S. service members and veterans
  • Peace Corps volunteers
  • Federal employees
  • People who live in Washington, D.C.
  • People in immigration detention facilities and prisons

As Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote, the Hyde amendment was “designed to deprive poor and minority women of the constitutional right to choose abortion.” That’s exactly what this policy does.

By forcing low-income people to carry unintended pregnancies to term or spend a large portion of their income to pay for abortion care, legislators create more barriers to people lifting themselves out of poverty. People without abortion coverage are forced to use funds they would spend on necessities such as food and rent to pay for an abortion. In many cases, finding the money to pay for the abortion results in a delay in care, which means the procedure becomes even more expensive.

Under the terms of the Hyde amendment and related provisions in Wyoming law, Medicaid funds may be used to pay for abortions only in cases of reported rape, incest, or endangerment of the pregnant person’s life.


“Personhood” Measures

“Personhood” measures seek to outlaw abortion by redefining the term “person” to include a fertilized egg or embryo—with the intent of outlawing abortion. In addition, “personhood” measures often sweep in bans on many common forms of birth control. These measures could even criminalize a woman for having an abortion.

Legislative attempts to charge pregnant people with “unborn child abuse” for certain actions during pregnancy rely on the notion of fetal personhood (and discourage people from seeking important health care).  Legislative attempts to create such crimes as “double homicide” when a pregnant person is murdered advance the fetal personhood agenda (and ignore the fact that there are already enhanced penalties for many crimes involving pregnant people).