Welcome Wyoming Abortion Pill Tourists

The traditional contraband relationship between Wyoming and Colorado is adding a new product.

As the New York Times reports, the cross-border exchange of marijuana and fireworks between Colorado and our northern neighbor Wyoming is adding another hot product to the interstate commerce mix: abortion pills.

Wyoming on Friday became the first state to explicitly ban the use of pills for abortion, adding momentum to a growing push by conservative states and anti-abortion groups to target medication abortion, the method now used in a majority of pregnancy terminations in the United States.

Wyoming’s new law comes as a preliminary ruling is expected soon by a Texas judge that could order the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to withdraw its approval of mifepristone, the first pill in the two-drug medication abortion regimen. Such a ruling, if it stands, could upend how abortion is provided nationally, affecting states where abortion is legal as well as states with bans and restrictions…

Just so we’re clear, it’s not just medication abortions being banned in Wyoming, although the state is notable for singling out medication abortions distinct from the surgical or other methods. This was about making some kind of point that medication abortion, by far the least costly and invasive method of ending an unwanted pregnancy, is particularly bad for some we can only assume non-medical reason.

Gov. Mark Gordon of Wyoming, a Republican, signed that state’s medication abortion ban on the same day that he said he would allow another more sweeping measure banning abortion to become law without his signature. That law, which takes effect on Sunday, would ban abortion under almost all circumstances, making it a felony to provide an abortion.

Colorado abortion care providers are already reporting large increases in out-of-state patients visiting the state for care and procedures that are either now illegal or could soon be the subject of private legal action now legal in a number of anti-abortion states. It’s a big reason for this year’s Senate Bill 23-188, meant to protect Colorado providers from legal attacks from other states.

Wyoming’s small population is heavily located near the Colorado border, which means that we’ll be the primary haven for abortion care for patients in need there as well. And kidding aside about our two states’ long history of cross-border illicit trade, for those who need abortion care for the whole range of necessary reasons that present themselves in real life including life-and-death complications, it’s no laughing matter.

It is another good reason to be glad you live in Colorado, at least the part that doesn’t want to join Wyoming.

3 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    If a Wyoming resident gets an abortion in Colorado, or orders pills through the mail, how does the state of WY propose to enforce their ban? 

    Answer is that it can't be enforced. WY can't control interstate travel and they can't "police" the US mail.

    This law is for "show" only.

    • Washopingmylastpostwouldbemylast says:

      Probably, you're right,  But, it's also a bit of an open question.  If they have some kind of Texas-style "accessory" statute, they might have some enforcement against a Colorado "abettor" if they ever do get stopped in Antelopia.

  2. davebarnes says:

    Can you pay for your pills in Colorado with imported Wyoming-legal fireworks?

    If yes, then win-win.

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