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Teton County Judge Temporarily Blocks Wyoming’s Abortion Prohibition

Judge Melissa Owens of the Ninth Judicial District Court in Teton County temporarily blocked on Wednesday implementation of House Bill 92, Wyoming’s abortion prohibition trigger law with the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

 

H.B. 92 had gone into effect earlier that day after Gov. Mark Gordon certified the bill last Friday.

 

The temporary block lasts for at least two weeks allowing babies to continue being slaughtered in the state for the next 14 days. It came during an emergency hearing while another hearing is set for Aug. 9 to discuss a preliminary injunction.

 

Dr. Giovannina Anthony of Jackson, one of the plaintiffs and currently the state’s only abortion provider, said “it’s with extreme relief that we can continue” to murder unborn babies while the block is in place.

 

Based on coverage from WyoFile and The Casper Star-Tribune, the arguments made by the plaintiffs relied on feelings and international law, not American or Wyoming law, while the arguments made by the defense, the State of Wyoming et al., were weak.

 

WyoFile reported that the pro-death plaintiffs argued that abortion is healthcare as “defined by several international health organizations and U.S. medical groups.” It is important to note that these are not legal arguments as international groups nor American medical groups have no bearing on the law.

 

Owens described plaintiff Danielle Johnson, a nurse who is currently 22 weeks pregnant, gave the “most compelling” argument.

 

Despite the fact that H.B. 92 includes exemptions for the life of the mother, Owens called it “compelling” that Johnson argued that she “could be affected by the ban if she developed a life-threatening complication,” The Casper Star-Tribune reported. Again, H.B. 92 literally allows for abortions over life-threatening complications.

 

Attorney Jay Jerde for the defense argued that H.B. 92 “isn’t directed at women making a decision about abortion. It just says that abortion can’t be performed in Wyoming.

 

The only apparent reference to legitimate law was Article 1, Sec. 38 of the Wyoming Constitution which states a “right of health care access” amendment approved by the voters back in 2012 as a response to Obamacare.

 

Both the plaintiffs and defense apparently haven’t read that amendment.

 

Because the plaintiffs call abortion “healthcare” they believe they have a right to access it based on the reading of the title of that amendment.

 

Although not a part of this lawsuit, Kenneth Chestek, a so-called “law” professor from the University of Wyoming, did make an argument in support of baby murder based on a little deeper reading of that amendment when he spoke to County 17 in June allowed for baby murder because Article 1, Sec. 38, subsection (a) states that parents and legal guardians “shall have the right to make health care decisions” for kids.

 

Wow, what a dangerous position. Would Chestek argue a parent has the right to murder, say a 2-year-old, who had a headache arguing that it relieved the child’s pain?

 

Chestek, who claims to know the law as a “law” professor, ignored the clear language in that amendment that clearly allows H.B. 92.

 

So did Jerde arguing for H.B. 92 whose sole argument in court related to the Wyoming Constitution was that the voters intended to support the Article 1, Sec. 38 amendment because it pertained to Obamacare, and voters would not have supported it if they thought it would allow for baby murder.

 

Jerde could have gone a little further down in Article 1, Sec. 38 to recite subsection (c) which states: “The legislature may determine reasonable and necessary restrictions on the rights granted under this section to protect the health and general welfare of the people or to accomplish the other purposes set forth in the Wyoming Constitution.”

 

There it is. The one legal argument made by the plaintiffs dismantled. It would have been nice if Jerde argued that.

 

And to go further, Article 1, Sec. 2 of the Wyoming Constitution, the “Equality of all” amendment, states an “inherent right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, all members of the human race are equal.” Unborn babies are members of the human race thus entitled to the right to life recognized in this amendment.

 

For the judge’s part, Owens did make a legitimate point in stating that H.B. 92 has too much ambiguity. That would be a fair argument as it doesn’t provide many definitions, one in particular cited in the court that it doesn’t define how a woman seeking an exemption for rape can obtain an abortion. Is it reliant on filing a police report in a certain time frame, does there need to be a rape conviction, etc.? Those are questions the state legislature should have had some foresight to debate and include when H.B. 92 was approved early this year.

 

The arguments supporting the right to seek access to the healthcare of our own choosing is correct. But only when it pertains to actual healthcare.

 

“As an O.B. doctor of 30 years, and having delivered 4,000 babies, I can assure you life begins at conception. I am legally responsible for the unborn, no matter what I do, so there’s a legal life there. The unborn has inherent rights, and if there’s an injury or a killing, there is a legal entity. There is no doubt about it,” Dr. Ron Paul said in 2007 during a debate as he ran in the Republican presidential primary.

 

Abortion is not healthcare. It’s a criminal act. That’s why it should be criminalized.

 

Remember, the word “fetus” means “unborn child” from its Latin meaning. A child is a human life. Humans are created in the image of God. Abortion is the taking of a human life. Abortion is murder.

Seth Hancock
Seth Hancockhttp://wyomingnews.tv
Seth Hancock has worked in professional journalism for over 15 years, primarily in local news for a community newspaper, Examiner Publications, in Bartlett, IL. Along with Wyoming News, he has been a contributor for The Liberty Loft and The Defender. Seth has a B.A. in journalism from Western Illinois University.

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