The Daily Parker

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Health choice amendments keep abortions legal

When the right wing fell all to pieces because Obamacare made health care easier for poor people to obtain, they managed to pass constitutional amendments in several states to hobble implementation of the Act. Flash forward 10 years and welcome to the delicious irony of unintended consequences:

Nowhere is this phenomenon more evident than in Wyoming, one of the 13 states with a “trigger” law on the books that was designed to immediately outlaw abortions once Roe was overturned.

In late-July, a coalition of Wyoming residents, medical providers, and abortion-supporting nonprofits filed a lawsuit alleging that House Bill 92—the state law which makes performing an abortion in Wyoming a felony crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison except in rare cases of rape, incest or health risks—was unlawful and unenforceable. Among the plaintiffs’ many arguments against the legislation was that it allegedly violated Article 1, Sec. 38 of the Wyoming state constitution, which guarantees that “each competent adult shall have the right to make his or her own health care decisions.”

That the amendment was intended as a spiteful measure, kicking back against Obamacare, is not in question; indeed, during a hearing before Teton County District Judge Melissa Owens, who was presiding over the abortion-rights supporters’ suit last week, attorneys for the state of Wyoming argued as much in an effort to uphold the abortion trigger law. “That statute was supposed to push back on the Affordable Care Act,” Special Assistant Attorney General Jay Jerde told the Wyoming judge, “not to implicitly confer the right to an abortion.”

I'm interested to see where this fight winds up.

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