Teton County lawmakers champion abortion access in Cheyenne

This comes as other Wyoming politicians introduce bills that could further restrict reproductive rights in the state.
Mike Yin (D-Jackson) advocated for abortion rights at an Oct. 8 rally at the Jackson Town Square. (Hanna Merzbach/KHOL)

Abortion-access remains a top priority for some Wyoming lawmakers as the new legislative session kicks off. 

Mike Yin, a Democrat who represents Teton County in Cheyenne, introduced a bill to repeal the state’s trigger ban, which restricts most abortions. State lawmakers passed this law last spring in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

“I think the trigger ban was unconstitutional,” Yin said in an interview with KHOL.

A lawsuit in Teton County District Court is currently keeping Wyoming’s abortion ban from going into effect. 

The plaintiffs, including one Jackson abortion provider, argue that the ban is unconstitutionally vague and that the state’s constitution protects Wyomingites right to make health care decisions, while the defendants argue the statute doesn’t apply to abortion.

It could be months before the court reaches a decision on the case. 

In the meantime, some lawmakers are looking for other ways to limit abortion-access in Wyoming. Another bill introduced last week bans medical abortion, which is the most common way to terminate a pregnancy.

“I don’t want to see only bills that go further into the unconstitutional territory,” Yin said. “I would like to start having that conversation of how do we bring it back to where it’s better for the people of Wyoming.”

State Sen. Mike Gireau, another Democrat from Teton County, is co-sponsoring the bill.

So far, Yin’s repeal of the trigger ban only has public support from Democrats, which make up a small minority of the legislature. The bill has yet to be introduced on the House floor.

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About Hanna Merzbach

Hanna is KHOL's senior reporter and managing editor. A lot of her work focuses on housing and local politics, but also women's health — and whatever else she finds interesting. You can hear her reporting around the country and region on NPR, Wyoming Public Radio and community radio stations around the west. She hails from Bend, Oregon, where she reported for outlets such as the Atlantic, High Country News and Oregon Public Broadcasting. In her free time, you can find Hanna scaling rock walls or adventuring in the mountains.

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