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Supporters of Wyoming's abortion ban ask state Supreme Court to let them defend law

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Chris Woodward

(The Center Square) – Wyoming lawmakers and a pro-life group are asking the state Supreme Court to let them defend the Life is a Human Right Act in court.

State Reps. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams and Chip Neiman, along with Right to Life of Wyoming, filed an appeal with the Supreme Court after a state trial court said they couldn't intervene to defend the law. The conservative legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom first asked the District Court of the 9th Judicial District of Teton County in April if it could intervene in the case.

“The rules in this case or about interveners generally say that people with significant interests in the common question of law or fact to the underlying litigation should ordinarily be permitted to be represented in that litigation,” ADF attorney Tim Garrison said. “That makes sure that everybody that has a legitimate interest in this case can be heard and promote the interest of finality and help smooth the matter to resolution expeditiously.”

Also known as HB0152, the Life is a Human Right Act prohibits abortions in the state. Governor Mark Gordon allowed the Life is a Human Right Act to become law in March, but warned it would face legal challenges.

“I have a strong record of protecting the lives of the unborn, as well as their mothers,” Gordon wrote in a March letter to Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray. “Bearing this in mind, I want to note that the State has already been challenged in court on the constitutionality of its current abortion law, based on alleged conflicts with Article 1, Section 38 of the Wyoming Constitution and other constitutional provisions.”

At the time, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju criticized Wyoming’s new law, saying “anti-choice extremists” will leave no stone unturned in their effort to ban abortion.

ADF maintains that since lawmakers and a pro-life group helped get the law passed, they should also be allowed to defend the law in court.

“Right to Life of Wyoming has existed since 1973 when the Supreme Court took away the states’ authority to legislate and regulate abortion, and they have worked for this day right up through last year when the Supreme Court corrected that with the Dobbs decision,” Garrison said. “The people of Wyoming as well as other states across the country were ready and enacted solid legislation to protect the lives of the innocent unborn and the folks that worked so hard to get the laws passed should be able to help defend that case.”