Is there really anyone out there who hasn't made up their mind about abortion?
We didn't think so.
Some believe the medical procedure is murder while others believe it's the right of a woman to chose. The majority of folks are somewhere on the spectrum that runs between those two beliefs.
It's not really a problem that needs more discussion, given that most people have already made up their mind. And by looking at the numbers, abortion is not a topic that really needs more legislation in Wyoming.
The Wyoming Department of Health says fewer than five abortions per year have been reported in the state in the past few years.
State health officials also pointed to data by the Centers for Disease Control showing 782 abortions were performed for Wyoming residents outside the state in 2009.
Knowing legislators cannot control a Wyoming resident who goes out of state for an abortion -- or any other procedure -- that means less than a dozen abortions per year are performed in state.
We believe the number is so low that it doesn't merit spending more time on, or crafting more legislation. If the number was much lower, there'd be no need for any legislation.
And that's a good thing.
Most folks can agree abortion is not good birth control. It's not ideal because it's invasive and more risky than other means. Moreover, from a cost standpoint, it's also not a good birth control option.
And yet it looks like few abortions are being performed in state. There are few places that offer the procedure beyond those facilities which might have to perform an abortion out of medical necessity, like a hospital.
If abortion were in such high demand, we believe there would be more of a market for it. And, if there was more of a market for it, abortion clinics and doctors would offer it.
But the truth is, there are other better, less expensive and less risky means of birth control. In this case, the market -- more than anything -- may be dictating the abortion issue.
Two abortion bills were introduced this legislative session, and both were voted down.
We believe this is the right move by Wyoming lawmakers who realize this issue has fierce support from a dedicated, passionate minority, but doesn't affect a lot of Wyoming residents.
We also think killing these bills was the right thing to do. If anything, this legislative group has a real libertarian bent to it. And, telling women what they can do with their bodies doesn't square well with a live-and-let-live philosophy.
At least one of the bills introduced would have certainly faced a constitutional challenge, and if the legal experts are correct, would have fallen short of legal tests.
That's why it's a good thing these abortion measures failed.
Wyoming has more important topics to worry about. Even though the Wyoming Department of Education has been restructured, there are still serious issues facing the state's students. Highway funding still has yet to be set. And, Medicare and Obamacare will mean a drastic change in how the state conducts business. These are all pressing issues which could eat up plenty of the lawmakers' time, and more importantly, their attention.
These two bills are like the bills that seem to appear and reappear every session. It's fine if some lawmakers consider this a personal cause to champion.
But, the truth is that more people are worried about having to pay more at the gas pump, or worried about health care.
By voting down the abortion bills, the lawmakers have given themselves the gift of time to worry about the other pressing needs facing the state.