Two bills aimed at restricting abortions advanced through the House Labor Committee on Wednesday morning with strong support.
House Bill 92 would automatically ban abortions in the state if and when the U.S. Supreme Court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams, R–Cody, who told the committee that the bill “solves the problem of abortion in the state of Wyoming” and would put the state in the company of several other states that already have such preemptive legislation in place to protect the unborn.
The other bill, HB 149, would prohibit abortions performed because of a child’s disability or because of its sex, race, color, national origin or ancestry.
If passed, the law would impose a sentence of up to 14 years on anyone who knowingl performs such an abortion.
The bill was introduced by Rep. John Romero-Martinez, R–Cheyenne, who said that the bill is a duplicate of one that passed through the House last year but languished in the Senate.
“I call it the rights of the unborn, even though you can’t use that in a title,” Romero-Martinez said.
The bill is in response to what he said was an increased demand for “designer babies” with some parents choosing to abort a fetus if it has physical or mental disabilities or disfigurements.
“What is happening is a person will get a genetic test, and they find out their child has one of these or may have one of these situations or diagnoses and they’re choosing to have an abortion as a result,” he said. “Some people want to have the perfect child and they’re playing God, frankly.”
Public comment was largely in favor of the bills and included personal testimonies from parents, doctors and clergy among others.
The commitee approved both bills on a vote of 7-2, with Reps. Cathy Connolly, D – Laramie, and Andrea LeBeau, D–Riverton, voting against.
The bills will now be sent to the House floor for a review by the full House of Representatives.