Yesterday a Wyoming state House committee voted 5 to 3 to reject a bill that would have prohibited abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
House Bill 97 was introduced into the Wyoming House Labor Health and Social Services committee yesterday by Representative Kendell Kroeker (R-Evansville). The committee debated for over two hours before rejecting the bill. Many representatives cited legal and medical vagueness as a reason to reject the bill. Representative Mary Throne (D-Cheyenne) questioned “Is this abortion illegal at 22 days with a highly invasive ultrasound or is it illegal at 9 weeks when we hear a heartbeat with a stethoscope?” Republican Representative Norine Kasperik (Gillette) pointed out that during the discussion she also heard different answers for when a heartbeat is detectable. Kasperik said, “These are questions that I feel like I have not heard answers to and have concerns about the vagueness of some of the language within the bill.”
Representative Sue Wallis (R-Recluse) shared her own abortion story, which happened when she was facing both a difficult pregnancy and a custody battle for her three children against an abusive ex-husband. “The notion that protected human life begins at the moment of conception is some religious sects’ interpretation, certainly not mine” she declared.
Wyoming is not the only state that has considered a ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. The Ohio state legislature faced the same decision last year when a heartbeat bill passed the Ohio House of Representatives, but expired in the state Senate without being brought to the floor.