Wyoming's Republican governor signed a law late Friday night banning the abortion pill and allowing a complete ban on abortion to become law without his signature.
The pills are already banned in 13 states with blanket bans on all forms of abortion, and 15 states already have limited access to abortion pills. The Republican governor's decision comes after the issue of access to abortion pills took center stage this week in a Texas court. A federal judge there raised questions about a Christian group's effort to overturn the decades-old U.S. approval of a leading abortion drug, mifepristone.
Medication abortions became the preferred method for ending pregnancy in the U.S. even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the ruling that protected the right to abortion for nearly five decades. A two-pill combination of mifepristone and another drug is the most common form of abortion in the U.S.
The medication is also used to treat illnesses such as Cushing's Disease.
The Wyoming law, like other bans on FDA-approved medications, is pre-empted by federal law. The ACLU summarizes the many legal problems with such bans. Conservative legislatures are passing the bills, all the same, to intimidate providers and patients, and to encourage court battles that may lead to the U.S. Supreme Court limiting federal preemption.