CHEYENNE, WYO. -- A House committee has killed a controversial bill that would have made Wyoming's abortion law the most restrictive in the nation.
Members of the Judiciary Committee voted 5 to 4 Monday against the measure, titled the "Human Life Protection Act" and introduced earlier this month by state Rep. Richard Honaker (D).
Gov. Mike Sullivan (D) had said he would look favorably on the bill if it reached his desk.
As drafted, the bill would have outlawed abortions except when a woman's health was in jeopardy or in cases of rape or incest. In the latter two instances, to be eligible for an abortion, a woman would have had to report the crime within five days after being able to do so.
Doctors who performed abortions otherwise could be convicted of a felony, punishable by 14 years in prison.
Supporters tried Monday to amend the bill to move it closer to a less restrictive version adopted in Utah last week. The amendment would have made abortion legal in cases where the child might have been born with mental or physical defects that would have made the infant's survival unlikely.
But that amendment, sponsored by Honaker, was rejected 5 to 4.
Other proposed amendments that failed included one that would have eliminated the reporting period for rape or incest victims and one that would have eliminated a statement that the Legislature determined that life begins at conception.
The committee refused to honor a request from Honaker that it send the bill to the floor for debate.
State Rep. Carroll Miller (R) argued that the measure put too much emphasis on the welfare of the unborn child and not enough on the mother. "I think it is too much, too soon, too stern, too unforgiving," he said.