Signs hang on a door window telling WHFC patients that the office will close Dec. 15. One is in English, the other Spanish
A sign hanging on the front door of the Women's Health and Family Care clinic next to St. John's Health informs patients that the practice is shutting down permanently on Dec. 15. Its physicians will continue to provide care at other locations. (Hanna Merzbach/KHOL)

One of the two Wyoming clinics offering elective abortions will close in December.

State lawmakers have been trying to restrict abortions here for years, but financial strain — including the rising costs of labor, supplies and rent — finally forced the closure, instead, according to a letter sent to patients.

Wyoming’s two abortion ban laws have been stymied in court so far, but the lost clinic will limit access to women in need of abortion care in the region nonetheless. 

“It’s just so sad,” said Dr. Giovannina Anthony, one of the healthcare providers working at the Women’s Health & Family Care clinic. “We’ve been open for 30 years, and we’ve all been in the community for a long time. And to let it go has been really, really hard.”

The income, however, wasn’t enough to cover rising costs, she said. 

“Since early in 2023, things weren’t looking good, and we weren’t sure how that would progress through the year,” Anthony said. 

By October, she said, it became clear that the clinic couldn’t remain open. 

As KHOL first reported, the monthly rent alone has increased to $9,400. Beyond that, OB-GYNs have some of the highest malpractice insurance rates and costs compared to what the practices can charge.

A letter tells patients the Jackson clinic is closing and where the providers plan to go.
A letter sent to the clinic’s patients cites “financial difficulties” as the primary reason for the closure and says who to contact to get more information about future appointments. (Hanna Merzbach/KHOL)

A woman running another OB-GYN clinic offering abortions in Bozeman, Montana, closed her doors last year, also citing costs as a major factor. 

The Jackson clinic is sending letters to patients, including the many who utilized its OB-GYN care in a landscape where services are becoming harder to find.

“Fortunately, our doctors plan to stay in the community and continue their medical practices,” the letter states. “Starting February 1st, Dr. [Laura] Vignaroli and Dr. [Katie] Noyes will be at St. John’s Family Medicine.”

St. John’s Health was not able to confirm whether the two doctors will be able to offer abortion services given Wyoming’s tenuous legal environment, but may “look at that question more closely” when the legality of abortions becomes more clear, according to Karen Connelly, spokesperson for St. Johns Health. 

Meanwhile, Anthony and Dr. Doug George plan to continue care for patients elsewhere in the community. 

“My plan right now is to open some sort of small gynecology and women’s health practice,” she said. “So I’ll be continuing to practice. I just have to work on a format that works for me and my family.”

The clinic is slated to close Dec. 15 — the day after a major court hearing in the case over Wyoming’s two abortion bans.

Anthony said the clinic’s closure will not affect her participation as a plaintiff in the lawsuit over those bans — the enforcement of which has been stalled as the case works its way through the legal system.


After Dec. 15, the only remaining clinic to offer abortions in Wyoming will be Wellspring Health Access in Casper. It opened in April — after an arson-related delay — and is already the only clinic in Wyoming offering surgical abortions. 

“We are saddened to hear the news that the Women’s Health and Family Care Clinic is closing its doors,” Julie Burkhart, president of Wellspring Health Access, said in a statement. “Patients deserve access to safe, legal abortion care in their communities, and the loss of this provider will make it even more onerous to patients from across the region.”

Wellspring is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging Wyoming’s abortion bans. 

“We are sorry to see the clinic close; the doctors and staff have provided skilled, compassionate abortion care to so many in need. We are very grateful for their long service.” Chelsea’s Fund Executive Director Christine Lichtenfels told WyoFile. “We want to remind all that medication abortion services remain available in Wyoming: Just The Pill and Aid Access provide telehealth medication services.”

Plantiffs and lawyers sit behind a table in the Teton County Court House
Jackson OB-GYN Dr. Giovannina Anthony, center, listens to oral arguments from Wyoming Special Assistant Attorney General Jay Jerde during a hearing in Ninth District Court on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Jackson. (Bradly J. Boner/WyoFile/Jackson Hole News&Guide/pool)

Just The Pill has been providing online access to abortion-inducing pills to patients in Minnesota, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming since 2020. 

“We only found out about the closing of the clinic through a news story, but we are ready to absorb any patients needing abortion care,” Dr. Julie Amaon, medical director at Just the Pill, wrote in an email. “It is a shame that Wyoming is losing a trusted provider of full spectrum obstetrics and gynecology care, including abortion.”

One of Wyoming’s abortion bans would make medication used to induce abortions illegal — a first-of-its-kind ban in the nation. While that law is on hold, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case involving the legality of federal approvals for mifepristone, a specific type of medication often used with another pill to induce abortion. 

Meantime the gap left for women seeking non-abortion-related OB-GYN services in Wyoming may be harder to close. For example, the communities of Rawlins and Kemmerer have both lost their maternity wards in recent years. An upcoming WyoFile investigation will soon explore the issue in greater depth.

By the numbers

The last four years of abortion data in Wyoming show that the number of reported abortions at clinics and doctor’s offices has increased, though rules requiring that reporting are only a few years old. In chronological order starting in 2019, the number of annual abortions reported in the state were 31, 91, 103 and 200 last year.

The actual number of women in Wyoming who received abortions is likely much higher. Amaon told the Casper Star-Tribune this summer that Just the Pill served more than 400 patients in Wyoming in 2022 alone.

A waiting room at the Jackson clinic with several chairs and a circulation desk
The lobby of the Women’s Health and Family Care Clinic, located next to St. John’s Health. It’s closing its doors because of rising costs of rent, labor and supplies. (Hanna Merzbach/KHOL)

The number of out-of-staters seeking abortions in Wyoming has also increased, reaching 36% of reported abortions last year. Several surrounding states — like Idaho and South Dakota — have banned most abortions. 

With the dearth of clinics across much of Wyoming, however, hundreds of residents also seek elective abortions in places like Montana and Colorado.

According to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, 240 Wyoming residents traveled to their Colorado clinics for abortions in just the last 12 months. 

Wyoming’s one Planned Parenthood clinic closed in 2017, also due to financial strains. 

The remaining out-of-state clinics are a long drive away for many in Wyoming, especially during the winter. Chelsea’s Fund offers resources to Wyomingites who need to travel for abortions, as does Planned Parenthood via the Wyoming Abortion Fund.

Madelyn Beck reports from Laramie on health and public safety. Before working with WyoFile, she was a public radio journalist reporting for NPR stations across the Mountain West, covering regional issues...

Join the Conversation


Want to join the discussion? Fantastic, here are the ground rules: * Provide your full name — no pseudonyms. WyoFile stands behind everything we publish and expects commenters to do the same. * No personal attacks, profanity, discriminatory language or threats. Keep it clean, civil and on topic. *WyoFile does not fact check every comment but, when noticed, submissions containing clear misinformation, demonstrably false statements of fact or links to sites trafficking in such will not be posted. *Individual commenters are limited to three comments per story, including replies.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. So sad and heartbreaking for women who find themselves pregnant with unplanned pregnancies. Nobody knows our health needs except the patient and the doctor and this decision is theirs to make…..nobody else’s.

  2. Very sad news. Thank God for Wellspring. And for those of you crying crocodile tears over zygotes, how about putting your money where your mouth is and approving Medicare expansion in Wyoming to save the lives of actual living human beings. The fact that Wyoming hasn’t do e this just shows the overwhelming hypocrisy of the right’s “commitment” to “life.”

  3. Wyoming is a failure of a state.

    They preach freedom, states rights, and rugged individualism, but sure do love Christian nationalism, limiting individual rights, and they really love that federal gubmint money!

  4. Wyoming Republicans are winning, but not so much the rest of the country. Ladies, just wait until they tell you that you can’t have credit cards, own a house or vote. That’s the plan.

  5. This is such a win! I am so thankful they are shutting down. Conservatives have been fighting this battle against abortion and the term “Health Care”. That is such a lie. I myself , am sick that Wyoming would allow such a murderous decision. Also, the thought that a women would even consider murdering a child, due to convenience, after being so blessed to have the opportunity, makes no sense. If you’re able to carry a child the rewards of a miracle, extended view of a future, family, and life has so many rewards. Life can be hard but a chid is such a gift. I know what I’m talking about with five pregnancies (two in Heaven due to a miscarriage and premature birth and three living). I wasn’t always married after their births, but I endured as only God showed the grace and strength of getting through the hard times. I had no family to lean on, as I was a foster child from age 13. I am so thankful to watch each of my children grow and become the blessing in good and hard times. I pray that these facilities gain no success to their agenda and for the women to access the help through godly counsel. Truth would be known, images be clear of life, and provision toward a hope and a future.

    1. So beautifully said Camilla, your joyful testimony as a mother is an inspiration, and is such a contrast to the negativity that always surrounds abortion. Thank you, and thank all parents who choose life!

    2. Camilla, your choice is your choice. Now leave other women alone to make their healthcare decisions.

  6. It seems to me that abortion providers are more and more being jackscrewed financially to force them out of business when the various political rhetoric and overt legislative blunt instruments fall short . If you can’t defeat them on the sidewalks, the legislative chamber, or the courts, hit them with the time proven financial hammer. After all , most clients of abortion providers are poor people, right ? The revenue money was already tight. It’s all just a vicious game of religiously powered mixed martial arts cagefighting to the anti-abortion activists. At least that’s my overarching perception. [ Disclosure : my state representative is Rachel Rodriguez Williams of Cody, the arch anti-abortionist of Wyoming . Thus we have years of observations and anecdotal evidence to draw on ]
    I will attest to one aspect of the situation . My landlord is a retired OB-GYN in Cody who had the principal practice here. He would never in a thousand years have done any sort of abortion. Instead he went well out of his way to be sure patients carried to term and delivered, then would find adoptive parents. He did that dozens and dozens of times, maybe a couple hundred. But over his 20+ year practice he was frivolously sued six time for malpractice, usually resulting from miscarriages or failed deliveries where the family sought monetary compensation rather than medical closure for the tragedy. Doc won each and every one of thos lawsuits , handily . But there was fallout.
    His insurance premiums skyrocketed after every court case he won. He eventually was paying over $ 400,000 per year just for malpractice insurance. This was quite a few years ago. It’s probably worse today. He retired early from his OB-GYN , prenatal, neonatal, and post natal and left medicine. Thank you Big Insurance.

    Oh by the way … some states actually place legislative guardrails on insurance rates and transactions , precisely to prevent runaway costs and financial hardships. Wyoming is not one of those states. Our state insurance regulations ( for all forms of insurance) are totally l’aissez faire hands off on the rates and the money. We let the insurance companies have their way . In allf airness, if Wyoming didn’t give insurance providers all that monetary freedom , they probably would pass over insuring anyone here for lack of a deep enough insurance pool to satisfy their endemic greed . Which to a great extent they do anyway. It’s just worse when it comes to workplace insurance, catastrophic health care, and anything to do with childbirth coming and going. It’s the culture that Wyoming has fostered over the decades. And it is flat out wrong.

    Wyoming is not an good place to be pregnant in… on its best days. Sounds like it just got worse.

    1. Abortion facilities operate in a market that requires demand for what they “provide” or “sell”. They demand government subsidies and want everybody’s private insurance to pay for what their “clients” can’t or won’t pay. Maybe people simply don’t want what they are selling, thank God.

      1. I don’t want my taxes going to welfare ranchers, so I can relate to your logic.

        I’d much rather see the farm/ranch subsidies go towards medical choices for those who need it. How about you?