Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has signed into law two pro-life bills that are said to be the state's first restrictions on abortions in one generation.
On Thursday, Mead signed House Bill 182, which requires the physician to offer pregnant women the chance to see an ultrasound of the unborn child before the procedure. He also signed House Bill 116, which makes it illegal to sell, transfer or distribute aborted baby parts for the purpose of experimentation.
The state's last abortion law, which required minors who want to terminate their pregnancy seek parental permission, was signed in 1989.
The new ultrasound law would also require physicians to ask women if they want to hear the unborn baby's heartbeat, according to Casper Star Tribune.
A provision requiring the doctor to obtain a signed confidential statement from the pregnant woman that she was offered the ultrasound has been removed. The ultrasound law also carries an exception for abortions performed in cases of medical emergency.
Wyoming lawmakers have tried to pass similar ultrasound bills back in 2009 and 2011, but they failed.
According to a survey by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, 78 percent of abortion-minded or abortion-vulnerable women changed their views after seeing an ultrasound image of their unborn baby. Around 83 percent of women also stated that the ultrasound had a positive impact on their decision to continue with their pregnancy.
Mead did not offer any comments before he signed the bills, but he received thanks from pro-life supporters who attended the signing ceremony, according to The Associated Press.
Life Site News reported that students who lobbied for the legislations stood behind Mead as he affixed his signature to the bills.
"March 9th, 2017 will be remembered as a landmark day for the Wyoming pro-life movement," Bethany Janzen, Students for Life of America's Rocky Mountain regional coordinator, wrote in a blog post.
She noted that pro-life students and families, including the Cheyenne homeschool community, attended the committee meetings to testify in favor of the legislation.
Deacon Vernon Dobelmann, director of pastoral ministries for the Diocese of Cheyenne, also hailed the signing of the two pro-life laws, which goes into effect on July 1.
"After many years of work, prayer, and witness, it is good to finally see some incremental steps toward preserving the sanctity of human life," he told Life Site News.