CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming House of Representatives passed House Bill 161 on first reading during their Monday, March 22 floor session, legislation which aims to prohibit discriminatory abortions.
“The main goal here is to defend the unborn in situations where they might be discriminated against,” Rep. John Romero-Martinez (Laramie County) said.
The legislation would ban abortions performed “solely because” the fetus or embryo has been diagnosed with a disability “or has a potential diagnosis of a disability.”
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It would also prohibit abortions from being conducted based on the fetus’s sex, race, color, national origin or ancestry.
The House adopted an amendment to the legislation ahead of their first reading vote to the definition of “disability.” The initial definition of disability proposed in the bill was as follows:
“Disability” means any disease, defect or disorder that is genetically inherited, including a physical disability, mental disability, intellectual disability, physical disfigurement, scoliosis, dwarfism, down syndrome, albinism, amelia, meromelia or a physical or mental disease.
The amendment removes the phrase “genetically inherited” and instead states that a disability is any “disease, defect or disorder that could substantially limit one or more major life activity.”
The legislation provides an exception which would allow abortions for conditions it refers to as “lethal fetal anomalies.” The amendment clarifies that definition:
“Lethal fetal anomaly” means a fetal condition diagnosed before birth that, if the pregnancy results in a live birth, will with reasonable certainty result in the death of the child not more than three (3) months after the child’s birth.
The proposed legislation would make it a felony punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment if someone were to be found guilty of performing a discriminatory abortion.
The House would need to pass House Bill 161 on two further readings before it would move to the Senate for consideration.
The bill is sponsored by:
- Representative(s) Romero-Martinez, Bear, Gray, Jennings and Rodriguez-Williams
- Senator(s) Hutchings and Steinmetz