Governor Gordon announced Thursday that the State of Wyoming has joined the State of Texas and 23 other states in filing an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the decision to regulate elective abortions should be left to states. That brief was filed in support of Mississippi in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. In the case, Mississippi challenges lower court rulings that deemed unconstitutional the state’s “Gestational Age Act,” which prohibits elective abortions at 15 weeks’ gestation. Mississippi asks the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn past rulings which protected abortion as a constitutional right, subjecting state regulations on abortion to heightened scrutiny.
In the brief joined by Wyoming, the 24 states agree that nothing in the text, history, or tradition of the U.S. Constitution supports a right to elective abortion. The tests currently applied to state abortion regulations – which look to fetal viability and “undue burdens” imposed on abortion access – are unworkable and applied inconsistently, even by the U.S. Supreme Court, leaving states uncertain as to how they can or cannot regulate abortion. Ultimately, the states conclude, whether and how to regulate elective abortions, including prior to fetal viability, should be left to each state and its voters rather than to federal judges. “This year has made abundantly clear that federal overreach harms Wyoming and its citizens,” said Governor Gordon. “Wyoming must stand up for states’ rights. I am happy to extend support to Mississippi in order to properly keep state control over state issues, especially in the fight to protect the unborn.” A copy of the brief may be found here.