A judge temporarily blocked Wyoming’s first-in-the-nation abortion pill ban while a lawsuit proceeds.
Legal context: Teton County Judge Melissa Owens ruled that the ban won’t take effect on July 1 as planned.
* Attorneys for Wyoming failed to show that the ban wouldn’t harm the plaintiffs before their lawsuit is resolved.
* The plaintiffs “have clearly showed probable success on the merits,” Owens said.
National significance: While other states have instituted de facto bans on the medication by broadly prohibiting abortion, only Wyoming has specifically banned abortion pills.
* The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in April that access to one of the two pills, mifepristone, may continue while litigants seek to overturn the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of it.
Ongoing legal battle: Wyoming’s pill ban is being challenged by four women, including two obstetricians, and two nonprofit organizations.
* One of the groups, Wellspring Health Access, opened as the state’s first full-service abortion clinic in years in April following an arson attack in 2022.
* They’re also suing to stop a near-total ban on abortion enacted in Wyoming in March. Owens has suspended that law, too, and combined the two lawsuits.
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