Gordon signs law banning UW and community colleges from sponsoring optional abortions

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CASPER, Wyoming – Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed House Bill 253 on Monday, the governor’s office announced.

The new law will prohibit the University of Wyoming and community colleges in the state from using the funds made available to them to provide either student dropouts or “group health insurance that covers voluntary student abortions.”

If they were to use funds to conduct elective abortions or a group health plan that covers elective abortions, the facility would not be eligible for government funding. The law comes into force on July 1, 2021.

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The bill will be a new guideline for community colleges (due to an amendment passed in the House of Representatives in first reading) and would enshrine in state law a guideline imposed by lawmakers on the UW in the 2020 draft budget.

The House of Representatives rejected an amendment on second reading that would have required UW and community colleges “to provide” long-acting reversible contraceptives “to all students who use contraception in order to receive government funding.

The bill was first passed in the House of Representatives in the third reading at 48:11 on March 24th:

  • Yes: ANDREW, BAKER, BÄR, BLACKBURN, BRAUN, BURKHART, BURT, CLAUSEN, CRAGO, DUNCAN, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, FORTNER, GRAU, GREEAR, HALLINAN, HAROLDSON, HARSHMAN, HEINER, KINPENNINGS, KINNER, KNAPNER, JAGD, JAGDERSON , LARSEN, L, LAURSEN, D, MACGUIRE, MARTINEZ, NEIMAN, NEWSOME, OAKLEY, OBERMUELLER, O’HEARN, OLSEN, OTTMAN, PAXTON, SIMPSON, SOMMERS, STITH, STYVAR, WASHUT, WESTERN, WHARFF, WILSON, WINTER., ZWONITZER
  • No: BANKS, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, NICHOLAS, PROVENZA, ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SHERWOOD, SWEENEY, WALTERS, YIN
  • Sorry: WILLIAMS

The Senate passed the bill in third reading at 25: 3 on April 2nd.

  • Yes: ANDERSON, BALDWIN, BITEMAN, BOUCHARD, COOPER, DOCKSTADER, DRISKILL, ELLIS, FRENCH, FURPHY, HICKS, HUTCHINGS, JAMES, KINSKEY, KOLB, KOST, LANDEN, MCKEOWN, NIEDERCOTT, PAPPAS, PERKINS,
  • No: FALL, GIERAU, ROTHFUSS
  • Sorry: BONER, SCHULER

As the Senate passed an amendment to the bill (which stipulated that funds “dedicated” to UW or community colleges cannot fund abortions through elections), the bill was passed on Jan.

  • Yes: ANDREW, BAKER, BÄR, BLACKBURN, BROWN, BURKHART, CLAUSEN, CRAGO, DUNCAN, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, FORTNER, GRAU, HALLINAN, HAROLDSON, HARSHMAN, HEINER, HENDERSON, HUNTING, JENNINGS, LOW, KINNER, BARLIN LAURSEN, D, MACGUIRE, MARTINEZ, NEIMAN, NEWSOME, NICHOLAS, OAKLEY, OBERMUELLER, O’HEARN, OLSEN, OTTMAN, PAXTON, SIMPSON, SOMMERS, STITH, STYVAR, WASHUT, WESTERN, WHARFF, WILSON, WINTER, ZWON
  • No: BANKS, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, PROVENZA, ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SHERWOOD, SWEENEY, WALTERS, YIN
  • Sorry: BURT, GREEAR, WILLIAMS

The new Wyoming Statute 21-16-1701 will read as follows:

HIGHER EXPENDITURE ON HIGHER EDUCATION

Prohibition of spending funds on abortion.

(a) As a condition of receiving or spending funds or funds allocated to the University of Wyoming, the University of Wyoming may not spend allocated general, federal or other funds under its control for:

(i) dropouts for students;

(ii) Group health insurance that covers voluntary abortions for students.

(b) As a condition of receiving funds or funds allocated to the Community College Commission, a Community College may not spend allocated general funds on:

(i) dropouts for students;

(ii) Group health insurance that covers voluntary abortions for students.

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