A bill that would mandate a 48-hour waiting period for performing abortions in Wyoming has passed the Wyoming House of Representatives.
The vote in favor of House Bill 197 was 39-17. It now moves on to the Wyoming Senate.
However, representatives on Friday afternoon did adopt an amendment sponsored by Rep. Andi Clifford [D-Fremont County] reducing a violation of the waiting period by a doctor from a felony to a misdemeanor.
In arguing for the amendment, Rep. Tyler Lindholm [R-Crook/Weston counties] argued that a doctor who violated the 48-hour rule could face a ten-year prison penalty, while a rapist might only serve two years in prison.
But Rep. Chuck Gray [R-Natrona County] argued for keeping the violation a felony. Gray said he recently read a newspaper story in regard to another Wyoming anti-abortion bill in which a doctor was ‘flaunting that there was no penalty in that statute, and therefore he wasn’t going to follow it.”
While the original version of the bill carried a potential penalty of 10 years in prison for doctors, the bill as amended would carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a $1,000 fine or both.