Women’s rights advocates got a bit of a reprieve yesterday as Oklahoma House Republicans met yesterday and decided against advancing Senate Bill 1433, the state’s controversial “personhood” bill.
House Speaker Kris Steele made the announcement but was clear that the decision shouldn’t be seen as being weak on abortion issues. “We’re already perhaps the most pro-life state in this country, having passed at least 30 various pro-life measures in the past eight years alone,” Steele said. “You will not find a bigger friend of the unborn than this Legislature, but this bill would not have any substantive policy effect.”
During his announcement Steele underscored the decision not to take up the personhood bill reflected the collective will of the Republican caucus, trying to quiet criticism by anti-choice advocates that he had been stalling the bill. “This decision was not made unilaterally, but as a caucus collectively,” Steele said. “I accept the will of our caucus.”
While this is good news, it doesn’t mean the push for embryonic personhood is dead in Oklahoma. Personhood USA is still trying for another ballot initiative but those efforts are currently tied up in litigation.
Photo from katsrcool via flickr.