Wyoming’s new abortion-ban law has prevented a doctor from providing needed health care to six women in the three days it has been in effect, risking life-threatening damage to them, a sworn court statement filed Tuesday says.

Dr. Giovannina Anthony, a plaintiff in a suit challenging the constitutionality of the new law, filed that statement in Ninth District Court on the cusp of a hearing seeking to block the law that bans most abortions. A judge will consider today her and others’ requests to stop implementation and enforcement of the House Bill 152 – Life is a Human Right Act, which went into effect Sunday.

“I have had to cancel the appointments of six patients who were scheduled to receive abortion care that they were entitled to in Wyoming before the Ban went into effect,” Anthony stated in an affidavit. Her office also turned away another prospective patient, she said in the filing, putting seven women in peril.

“If the ban remains in effect, these patients will be compelled to carry pregnancies to term against their wishes or seek ways to end their pregnancies, in other states or without medical supervision, which will increase the risk of permanent and life-threatening damage to their health and wellbeing,” the statement reads.

“Over the course of the next six months, approximately 60 to 90 patients will be denied abortion health care.”

Dr. Giovannina Anthony

Many more women will face similar situations if the law remains in effect, her affidavit stated.

“If the Wyoming Criminal Abortion Ban remains in effect, I estimate that, over the course of the next six months, approximately 60 to 90 patients will be denied abortion health care that I otherwise would have provided to them,” her statement reads.

The affidavit was one of a series of documents filed Tuesday in Ninth District Court in Jackson where Judge Melissa Owens is scheduled to preside over arguments today. Two women, two doctors and two pro-choice nonprofits seek a temporary restraining order against the new law and asked Tuesday for even more relief.

Their attorneys added to their TRO request by filing papers saying Owens should grant a longer preliminary injunction and even a permanent injunction. That amended complaint also asks Owens to outright declare the new abortion-ban law unconstitutional.

Wyoming state attorneys filed a 56-page response Tuesday to the request for a TRO, but had not responded to other developments as the clerk of court’s office was closing.

“The public interest favors allowing the Life Act to take effect because it represents a lawful exercise of legislative power,” Wyoming Special Assistant Attorney General Jay Jerde wrote in the state’s response.

The plaintiffs have not shown that they are likely to prevail on the constitutionality issue or that the abortion-ban law would cause irreparable injuries, Jerde wrote. Injuries have to occur to the plaintiffs themselves not to “unnamed individuals in the future,” his filling states.

Although two of the plaintiffs have said they plan to have children in Wyoming, the prospect of the abortion-ban law injuring them is “too remote and speculative,” Jerde’s filing reads.

A similar 2022 abortion-ban law is also tied up in court for violating the constitutional right in Wyoming to make one’s own health care decisions.

In response, the 2023 abortion-ban states “abortion as defined in this act is not health care.” The 2023 law replaces the older one.

Therefore the new law does not violate the Wyoming Constitution, the state filing says.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at angus@wyofile.com or (307)...

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  1. When health care is left up to the legislature what potentially is next? Can they determine the dentistry is not a form of health care and make it a criminal offense for dentists to practice in Wyoming? What about male reproductive health care or is ED health care a constitutionally protected right?

  2. The statement “putting their life in peril” is pure nonsense. The years I practiced anesthesia in Wyoming no physician would perform abortions. Now it appears Wyoming has found one. Good revenue source for those MDs

  3. From conception to birth, when does personhood emerge? We can arbitrarily say at the moment of conception, fetal heart beat, quickening (when the woman first feels the baby move) or birth. We can use the terms gamete, zygote, blastocyst, embryo, and fetus, or collapse these into the term baby. Where we decide to bestow personhood – human status – is unsettled. It remains an arbitrary marker with no clear basis other than the beliefs of the individual.

    Where there is no debate of personhood is the woman. Her life, her dreams – her freedom and well being – clearly exist in the here and now. I resist telling her that she does not matter. I resist prioritizing a potential consciousness over an existing consciousness. I certainly understand that others will disagree. What I ask is that they do not look to the power of the state to enforce their beliefs on women across the state. Pray to end abortion. Exhort people to choose life. Make your case in the public square, but do not criminalize other people’s choices.

    I once saw a young woman in down town Casper with a tee shirt that read ” keep your government hands off my guns and uterus.” Now that is the Wyoming I know and love.

  4. Yes. Wouldn’t it be nice if elective abortions didn’t happen and medically necessary abortions weren’t needed. Wouldn’t it be nice if all children were born wanted, weren’t abused, and were well provided for. Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians actually believed in funding quality education instead of shoving religious indoctrination down our children’s throats. Oh, and wouldn’t it be great if they did the right thing and expanded Medicaid for all, but that would require caring about the living. Republicans and the Christians trying to turn this country into a theocracy need to put up or shut up. There is no love thy neighbor, just bend them to your power hungry will. Evil is marching through our government wearing a crucifix.

  5. Abortion is not healthcare–its the taking of an unborn human beings life—how utterly shameful for this doctor –who took the hypocratic oath to “Do no harm”. Sure he’s for it—he’s making lots of $$$ participation in the blood shed—–calling abortion “healthcare” is so reprehensible.

  6. I have 1 daughter. It took me 3 pregnancies, and 8 months in bed to bear her. The day she was born, I received 7 units of blood products (God bless all blood donors!), and ended the day in surgery.
    To force that on anyone else-I can’t fathom doing so.
    If your reasoning starts with “God,” it can’t apply. People have a choice of religion, or not, in this country.
    Women must be able to decide when, where, and with whom (at a minimum) to embark on parenting.
    I knew a wise man, a good 30 years my senior, who frequently said “it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.”
    That applied to eating, or not. To food. To clothing. To trips. To sex. To children.

    1. an interesting post.
      It would seem responsible adults would ensure that when seeking an orgasm, they could take the time to ensure they are not endangering themselves nor a potential innocent child.
      Hard to imagine “changing their mind” is an acceptable response to destroying a life.

  7. Wyoming has untold freedoms and wildness. There is nothing extreme or unjustifiably restrictive about laws that protect the most vulnerable among us – the unborn. The willful taking of innocent life can never be a just act.

  8. In 2012 Wyomingites voted and made clear they wanted to make their own health care decisions. Forcing a woman to have a baby they don’t want is not allowing them to make their own health care decisions. As for injury – every time you are pregnant you risk dying and other medical complications. Also, mental health is also health health care – what tole does being forced to carryout an unwanted pregnancy have on women’s mental health?

  9. The idea that this “doctor “ would portray these prospective abortion patients as ALL high risk pregnancies requiring abortion to “save lives” is pure nonsense, and proves that the abortion industry will use any means to promote itself, at the cost of women themselves. Mr. Thuermer, were you able to use your journalistic talent to confirm that these pregnancies were all a threat to the women before you helped portray them as such?

    1. Even if there were detailed documented case reports of each case, the pro-birthers would still discount them. Science and medicine is NOT a strong suit for some people.

      Or, would the pro-birth crowd feel more comfortable with what is reported if wyofile lied for clicks, like fox did for TV ratings?

  10. Visiting with old pals in the last month, the same conversation has come up every time: What has happened to the live & let live, independent-spirited, open- minded state we all used to enjoy? When did Wyoming move to the damn Bible Belt? Then: How has this happened so fast & with so much nastiness? And then: You know, I never thought I’d think of moving from my home but it’s looking impossible to stay here. And last; But do we just let them chase us out?
    This may be what many of us are going through—we don’t recognize our legislature, our school boards, our party, our national reputation—my hope is that we still recognize that to change things we will have to show up, speak up & vote our way forward.

    1. My sentiments as well. I was born and raised in Wyoming and have lived here all my life, but in the last few years things have changed so much politically that it’s no longer the state I’ve known. I also think about leaving but every state has its issues. Wyoming’s official motto “The Equality State” doesn’t apply today.

      1. I left Wyoming for good when i sold my cabin West of Dubois in 2016. I miss the stark emptiness of Wyoming, and some of my friends, but rejoice that i now live in Colorado where i know the majority of the people i pass on the street agree with me about basic political and humanist assumptions. The almost totally Democratic legislature is about to add new gun safety regulations and abortion is safe here. Our governor is a gay man. When Biden won people drove around in their cars waving flags and screaming for joy. .For me, that meant a lot!

    2. I’m with you, Maria Katherman. This is an important time in our nation’s history. We can’t run like cowards and let ignorance take our country backwards. The Republican Party has been taken over by religious zealots whose brains have not developed. I suspect that future generations will study the religions of today and wonder how the rest of us let it happen. Instead of innovating and moving forward like the rest of the world, Republicans aren’t smart enough to come up with ideas that would help us progress. Instead, they are taking us backwards to a time that has passed. These aren’t intelligent people. We can’t sit back and let this go on.

      1. Mr. Nixon,
        Possibly but who has the Democrat party been taken over by???? … possibly even much more frightening! Not sure either is a good bet anymore.

        1. Ms. McCooken,

          I would say that the Democrat Party is far from perfect. In fact, I can’t defend them on a lot of things they’ve done. They should never have let Roe v Wade get overturned in the first place.

          I’m worried that the Democrats don’t really care about the little guy anymore, but at least they pretend to care. They don’t pass legislation that would ensure every American a good education, they don’t assure that workers are guaranteed a right to a living wage and decent treatment, they don’t stop meddling in other country’s affairs and they certainly aren’t doing anything to preserve the social security trust fund. They are letting the Republican Party make a mockery of our government and take us backwards in time. Yeah, no I’m not going to defend the Democrats. But, they’re not trying to pass draconian laws – that’s on the Republicans.

          A woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy has already been settled for many reasons. The people who lived through seeing their daughters die from botched abortions… who watched the population of unwanted kids get tortured and starved… whose lives were stifled and dreams never realized with the birth of unwanted kids… those people decided that legalized abortion was the best solution to a difficult situation.

          What’s most disturbing about all of this is those unwanted kids being born to live a life of mistreatment and mental anguish. Sure, a few will get adopted into a good home and some of the mothers will be glad the kids were born, but this isn’t going to be the story for most of them. How can anyone be so heartless as to want them born, but not cared for?

    3. Has nothing to do with the bible, the bible belt or religion—it has everything with respect though—no one has the right to decide if another person can be born and live—why do you feel you have the right to make that decision for another living human being??

      1. Respect? Where’s the money set aside to raise these kids – feed, house, clothe and educate them? Where’s your respect for all the kids in foster care? How many children have you adopted? What you might not understand is how this is related to religion. Christians believe a fetus is a baby, but the rest believe life begins at first breath. Personally, I believe you can’t kill a soul, as energy cannot be destroyed – it just changes form. I believe that unless we’re going to take care of the mother and the unwanted kids for life, then we have no business making life-altering decisions for them. Christians don’t even understand Christianity. This is what happens when you don’t put money into education. Stupid people are making laws that harm all of us.

      2. No one can force you to donate blood or organs so that someone else can live. No one should force a woman to give birth, especially when the mother’s own health is at risk.

      3. A fetus is not viable outside the mothers womb. A clump of cells. Essentially a virus in need of a host.

        To say a fetus is another “living human being” is a false equivalency.

      4. RESPECT, respect is the main topic running through all of the comments and decisions made regarding a women’s right (my right) to make decision about her own body.
        I may or may not agree with her choice but I believe she has the right to make that choice.
        Where are we going next, requiring all patients to have blood transfusions, requiring all children to have other peoples body parts to save a life.

        Respect, a family to make these hard decisions. Give respect to women to make their own health decisions.

        Let us stick by each other through these rough times. We can agree to disagree and still be neighbors and friendly to each other. Where does it say in our Wyoming constitution we all have to agree are we not the ‘equality state’. To me that means giving me a woman or man the right to make my own life decisions, healthcare, political, and religious.

  11. What’s next ? Burning alleged witches at the stake ?
    We might need a Wyoming constitutional amendment for THAT , too.