Unanimous Oklahoma Supreme Court: Personhood Initiative “Clearly Unconstitutional”

On Monday the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that a ballot initiative that would grant legal rights to embryonic cell clusters is unconstitutional, meaning voters will not get a chance to weigh in on whether or not to define life at conception in the state.

The unanimous decision by the state’s highest court came after the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center on Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit last month on behalf of six Oklahoma voters. If passed, the initiative would have outlawed many critical reproductive health services, including all abortion care, in vitro fertilization, most commonly used forms of birth control, and treatments for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages.

“The proponents of this initiative were attempting to insert politicians into the deeply personal medical decisions of Oklahoma women and their families,” said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “We’re relieved that this dangerous initiative won’t be on the ballot.”

“The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that women have the right to safe, legal abortion services and other reproductive health care,” said Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “The Oklahoma court has sent a strong message that attempts to pass laws that are so hostile to women’s rights and health will not prevail in a court of law.”

The court ruled unanimously that the initiative petition “is void on its face” for being “clearly unconstitutional” and ordered it stricken. Since the legislative attempts to define personhood at conception have also failed, the is ruling appears to settle the issue in Oklahoma, at least for this legislative session.

Related Stories:

Oklahoma Governor Signs Heartbeat Bill

Personhood Bill Dies In Oklahoma

Lawsuit Filed Challenging Oklahoma Personhood Push

Photo from gavin rice via flickr.

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Huber F.
Huber F.3 years ago

isn't this the pay as cum scheme?

Diana Roth
Diana Roth3 years ago


KS Goh
KS Goh3 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Edith B.
Edith B.3 years ago

Gene J., you are absolutely right. I am happy to see one state that is not following the anti-women agenda.

MarjorieMarjori Hass
Marjorie Hass3 years ago

Great news!

MarjorieMarjori Hass
Marjorie Hass3 years ago

Great news!

Mercedes Lackey
Mercedes Lackey3 years ago

Two intelligent decisions by judges in a row, one in Oklahoma and one in Texas. Thank heavens.

Sherrie Brunell
Sherrie Brunell3 years ago

The fact that this kind of law would have allowed women to die due to an ectopic pregnancy shows that those who are pushing laws like this are NOT pro-life! They are pro-fetus and pro-control of women.

An ectopic pregnancy is not viable. The fetus cannot, nor will it ever be able to, grow into a baby because it implanted in the wrong place (the fallopian tube, rather than the uterus) and is not able to get the appropriate level of nutrients, nor is it able to grow beyond the size of the fallopian tube.

However, it poses a significant threat to the woman. Unless treated (meaning the removal of the non-viable fetus), the fetus will eventually rupture the fallopian tube causing horrific pain and blood loss. Women in this situation can either become infertile, or if not treated in time, die due to the blood loss.

How is it better to let a fully formed, breathing, thinking, feeling adult human woman die for the sake of a clump of cells that have improperly implanted in the wrong place in her reproductive system - a clump of cells that WILL NEVER BECOME A BABY due to the wrong implantation. How is that pro-life?

Alison D.
Alison Duncan3 years ago

The Tea Baggers (such an appropriate name, not for the reasons they think) are crying in their cups. Thanks to the sane thinkers in the S.C.

Can you imagine not treating someone with an ectopic pregnancy or who have had a miscarriage.

What the hell is wrong with these idiots?

Do women who suffer medical complications deserve to die in their version of utopia?

Amie K.
Amie K.3 years ago

I guess there's intelligent life in OK after all! 8-P