Two Abortion Bills Spurred Debate in the House Committee

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Two different abortion bills were on their second reading Thursday in the House.

The bills are not to make abortion illegal in Wyoming, but rather to regulate them.

Both are creating partisan debate in Cheyenne.

Representative Cheri Steinmetz shared, “It doesn't infringe on anyone's rights, it just the process by which the tissue is dealt with.”

Mike Gierau, Representative, “The people of the state of Wyoming sent us here, I believe, to work on those issues and not, and not these other ancillary issues that just divide us and take us away from the important work we need to be doing for the people of the state of Wyoming."

Representative Chuck Gray, “That's one of the narratives that has been put out there that they do to try and defeat that. They always do that to conservative bills.”

House Bills 116 and 182 created a stir in committee meetings on Monday and now, they've hit the house floor.

Although there was very little floor debate Thursday, Legislators didn't hold back when speaking to News 13.

Rep. Gierau, “Nothing short of an attack on a women's right to choose.”

Rep. Gray, “It's about improving our general statutes. Our first four weeks are devoted to that and whether we do this bill or not, it's not going to change, we're not going to devote more time to the budget because, because we don't do certain bills.”

House Bill 116 would make it illegal to sell or use tissue from an aborted fetus for any use.

Under the bill, if convicted you could face a $10,000 fine and no less than a year or no more than 14 years in prison.

Rep. Steinmetz felt, “Fetal tissue should be respected just like any other human remains.”

Gray has been using Planned Parenthood videos released almost two years ago as his reason for co-sponsoring this bill.

“We just got to make sure that that sort of activity where you have that sort of transactional disrespect, which is problematic.”

But representative Gierau said he is strongly against this.

“Making women make doctors criminals for you know, for making a choice that we believe, or I believe should be theirs in the first place.”

He continued to tell News 13, “We spend so much time arguing about these issues, when what we should be doing is collecting, using our collective energy on both sides of this issue, to helping educate kids and educating young women so the choice never has to be made.”

House Bill 182 would mandate doctors must inform a woman having an abortion of their right to see an ultrasound of her child and hear the heartbeat.

“It's not requiring anything. The decision is entirely an option,” said Rep. Gray.

Both bills passed the second reading in the house Thursday.

Those bills now move on to the third reading in the House. If they pass, they move over to the Senate to go through the same process.