Gordon signs bill prohibiting UW, community colleges from funding elective abortions - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Gordon signs bill prohibiting UW, community colleges from funding elective abortions

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CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed House Bill 253 into law on Monday, according to the governor’s office.

The new law will prohibit the University of Wyoming and community colleges in the state from using any funding appropriated to them to provide either elective abortions for students or “group health insurance that provides coverage of elective abortions for students.”

If they were to use funding to provide elective abortions or group health insurance that provides coverage of elective abortions, the institution would not be eligible to receive state funding. The law takes effect on July 1, 2021.

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The law will be a new policy for community colleges (due to an amendment passed in the House of Representatives on first reading) and would codify in state statute a policy the legislature imposed on UW via the budget bill passed in 2020.

The House defeated an amendment on second reading that would have required UW and community colleges to provide “long-acting reversible contraceptives to all students who request such contraception,” in order to receive state funding.

The bill initially passed in the House of Representatives on a third reading vote of 48-11 on March 24:

  • Ayes: ANDREW, BAKER, BEAR, BLACKBURN, BROWN, BURKHART, BURT, CLAUSEN, CRAGO, DUNCAN, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, FORTNER, GRAY, GREEAR, HALLINAN, HAROLDSON, HARSHMAN, HEINER, HENDERSON, HUNT, JENNINGS, KINNER, BARLOW, KNAPP, LARSEN, L, LAURSEN, D, MACGUIRE, MARTINEZ, NEIMAN, NEWSOME, OAKLEY, OBERMUELLER, O’HEARN, OLSEN, OTTMAN, PAXTON, SIMPSON, SOMMERS, STITH, STYVAR, WASHUT, WESTERN, WHARFF, WILSON, WINTER, ZWONITZER
  • Nays: BANKS, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, NICHOLAS, PROVENZA, ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SHERWOOD, SWEENEY, WALTERS, YIN
  • Excused: WILLIAMS

The Senate passed the bill on a third reading vote of 25-3 on April 2:

  • Ayes: ANDERSON, BALDWIN, BITEMAN, BOUCHARD, COOPER, DOCKSTADER, DRISKILL, ELLIS, FRENCH, FURPHY, HICKS, HUTCHINGS, JAMES, KINSKEY, KOLB, KOST, LANDEN, MCKEOWN, NETHERCOTT, PAPPAS, PERKINS, SALAZAR, SCOTT, STEINMETZ, WASSERBURGER
  • Nays: CASE, GIERAU, ROTHFUSS
  • Excused: BONER, SCHULER

Because the Senate adopted an amendment to the bill (which specified that funds “appropriated” to UW or community colleges cannot fund elective abortions), the bill returned to the House for a concurrence vote which passed 47-10 on April 6:

  • Ayes: ANDREW, BAKER, BEAR, BLACKBURN, BROWN, BURKHART, CLAUSEN, CRAGO, DUNCAN, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, FORTNER, GRAY, HALLINAN, HAROLDSON, HARSHMAN, HEINER, HENDERSON, HUNT, JENNINGS, KINNER, BARLOW, KNAPP, LARSEN, L, LAURSEN, D, MACGUIRE, MARTINEZ, NEIMAN, NEWSOME, NICHOLAS, OAKLEY, OBERMUELLER, O’HEARN, OLSEN, OTTMAN, PAXTON, SIMPSON, SOMMERS, STITH, STYVAR, WASHUT, WESTERN, WHARFF, WILSON, WINTER, ZWONITZER
  • Nays: BANKS, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, PROVENZA, ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SHERWOOD, SWEENEY, WALTERS, YIN
  • Excused: BURT, GREEAR, WILLIAMS

The new Wyoming Statute 21-16-1701 will read as follows:

HIGHER EDUCATION EXPENDITURES ON ABORTIONS

Prohibition on expending funds for abortion.

(a) As a condition of receiving or expending any appropriated monies or funds appropriated to the University of Wyoming, the University of Wyoming shall not expend any appropriated general funds, federal funds or other funds under its control for:

(i) Elective abortions for students;

(ii) Group health insurance that provides coverage of elective abortions for students.

(b) As a condition of receiving any monies or funds appropriated to the community college commission, a community college shall not expend any appropriated general funds for:

(i) Elective abortions for students;

(ii) Group health insurance that provides coverage of elective abortions for students.