Wyoming state legislators voted against a bill Wednesday that would have extended the definition of homicide victims to include “unborn children” in the state. The bill (see PDF), entitled the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act”, is viewed as potentially undermining abortion rights by critics and as expanding protections of victims of violent crime by supporters.
NARAL Pro-choice Wyoming Executive Director Sharon Breitweiser told the Associated Press that “even though [the bill] supposedly excludes induced abortion, when you go down the road of defining fertilized eggs or an embryo as a ‘person,’ this will inevitably undermine the right to choose abortion.”
The bill’s sponsor, Republican State Senator Kit Jennings, told the Associated Press that he will introduce the bill for a third time next year. Two other bills have been introduced in the Wyoming state legislature that could restrict abortion rights. One bill would require women to view an ultrasound prior to an abortion and the second would require doctors who offer abortions to file reports indicating whether each pregnancy had resulted from a sexual assault, among other information.