Fetal Personhood Fight Back On In Oklahoma


Personhood USA, the group behind granting personhood rights to human embryos, on Monday asked the Supreme Court to reverse the Oklahoma Supreme Court and put their personhood measure on the November ballot.

The ballot measure, Initiative Petition 395, would grant human embryos the rights and privileges of citizens in Oklahoma. Supporters have said their goal is to set up a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade via the personhood push.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court had ruled that the proposed ballot question, if approved, would unconstitutionally ban abortions in the state. A similar measure died in the state legislature.

In its 34-page petition to the Supreme Court, Personhood USA claims that decision is contrary to rulings in similar cases and contrary to Supreme Court precedent that forbids courts from invalidating state statutes based upon “a worst-case analysis that may never occur.”

“The Oklahoma Supreme Court violated these basic rules of judicial review, frustrating the intent and infringing the right of the sovereign people of Oklahoma,” the petition says.

Keith Mason, founder of Personhood USA, a national anti-abortion advocacy group, said the state Supreme Court’s decision effectively denied Oklahomans the opportunity to debate and vote on the proposed amendment. “This is about equal access to the democratic process,” Mason said. “No citizen can be blocked from expressing their views on such a critical issue as life.”

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, called Personhood USA’s appeal an attack on the reproductive rights of women.

“The proponents of this measure have made explicit the ultimate objective of the anti-reproductive rights movement: to strip all Americans of their constitutional right to make their own decisions about whether and when to have children,” Northrup said in a statement on the organization’s website. “They’re coming after birth control. They would make access to abortion illegal in all circumstances. They would even threaten the ability of couples with fertility problems to seek medical assistance in starting a family,” Northrup said.

“Regardless of whether these assaults take aim at one particular reproductive health service or all at once, they all must be regarded as serious threats to the constitutional rights of all Americans. And they must be decisively rejected as such,” she said.

If 2012 seemed like a busy year on the reproductive front, it’s clear we haven’t seen anything just yet and at this rate the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to abortion rights by 2014, guaranteed.


Related Stories:

Unanimous Oklahoma Supreme Court: Personhood Initiative Clearly Unconstitutional

Personhood Bill Dies In Oklahoma


Photo from kaibara via flickr.


colleen p.
colleen p6 years ago

ryan b., well, it is a human, maybe not a being. it sure is not a cactus or salmon

Aludra N.
susan m6 years ago

old white men in suits behind closed doors have no right to be making decisions about women's reproductive rights. They pretend is it concern for the unborn, but what they really want is to control women and their bodies totally, because they still consider us their property.

Women, wake up, before you were a (insert religion) or a (insert political party) or a (insert race, creed, etc) before anything else, you are a WOMAN. Stand behind your sisters and vote out of office ALL of these men who seek to control us. If we stand together we can take back the freedom that we have a right to. Every time I see a man spouting off about women's reproductive issues I want to slam a pie in his face. Men have zero right to even be involved in this. This is women's business and we can and should take care of it ourselves.

Ken W.
Ken W6 years ago

This is bs !

ryan burger
Ryan B6 years ago

How can an EMBRYO be considered a human being? That makes no sense. It the EMBRYO is a human, call it a human. That's right, I said "it." An embryo might be a girl or a boy someday. It might be a human someday. But an EMBRYO is not a human being in any sense. Come on people, put down the frickin bible and use your heads.

Muriel C.
Muriel C6 years ago

(Sorry the end of my post got chopped off, so re-post it)
Pro-life, my boot. This isn't pro-life. This is so hatefully anti-woman it blind an entire political party and a good dozen of churches to the basic logic known to even the most primitive and illiterate of our ancestors.

Muriel C.
Muriel C6 years ago

No Sarah,we aren't saying a human fetus isn't human. We are saying it isn't a legal person because a person is alive and livable on his/her own. This happens to a child after (s)he draws first breath, eats, and poops independently of his/her mother's body.
Before that, the Mom can survive without the fetus, but the fetus can't survive without the Mom. That's why, for the past 5000 years of recorded time, priority has been given to the survival of the woman even in places where women have had no human right beyond that of drawing breath at the pleasure of their husband/master.
The current "pro-life" movement isn't happy with this and wishes to subordinate the "personhood" of the potential mother to the "personhood" of the potential baby. Some of the latest aberrations include bills denying a woman the right to abort the fetus she carries
- if it's over 20 weeks, no matter whether she was aware before that of the pregnancy, no matter whether the pregnancy or the delivery may kill or maim her for life, no matter whether she is diagnosed with a cancer and need to abort before starting the chemo.. no matter whether the fetus is the result of rape or incest, and EVEN IF the fetus IS ALREADY DEAD and decomposing in her body. That is to say -since a woman isn't a cow- condemning the pregnant woman to die of toxic shock syndrome.
And Sarah, guess what, they -like you- either don't care or are unaware that when the pregnant woman dies SO DOES THE FETUS!!!!!
Pro-life? My boot! Thi

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill6 years ago

Ok, so y'all are saying that a fetus is not a human, so what is it? A dog, a cat? Come on they are humans! Their parents are human, so they are too.

Why is it ok to kill an unborn baby, but illegal to kill a baby after he or she is born? Doesn't make sense to me.

Linda H.
Linda h6 years ago

And when the little zygote turns out to be a murderer? Then do we put it on trial for killing it's poor dear mother? You people are being silly trying to pretend a fetus is the same as a baby. Even the bible says it isn't until it draws a breath. It also says that it's not a person until it's one month old. You don't want to have a doctor's help then do what you want. The rest of us believe differently and our religions or non religions need respecting too.
It's all the worse for the way you treat children who are actually born and need help along with all the war killing of women and children you supported so corporations could make more money and because you thought there would be cheap gas. Shame on you and yet another Boston priest they caught today with child porn.

L E E.
Lois E6 years ago

At the moment of conception it is a human being, a baby, and should be treated as such. Abortion is down right murder! It ends the life of an innocent little baby who cannot speak or protect him/herself. No person has the 'right' to kill an unborn baby! It should be against the law! I can hardly believe how cold and hardened people have become to think it is their "right" to do the unthinkable!

Carl Oerke
Carl O6 years ago

What is with all of this personhood movement bullshit. The other day I heard that a personhood initiative was being promoted that would allow fetuses to carry guns in the womb. Is it that dangerous in the uterus? Is there even room in the womb for an assualt rifle with M203 grenade launcher? Wouldn't it scaere the hell out of the obstetrician?