The state of Oklahoma is taking a two-pronged approach to trying to grant legal rights to fertilized eggs. First, it is attempting to pass a bill through the state legislature that would grant “personhood” status from the moment of conception. Then it is trying to put the same issue on the ballot in 2012 for citizens to vote on.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, fresh off a win for successfully challenging the state’s unconstitutional ultrasound law, is now filing suit against Personhood Oklahoma’s ballot amendment.
“This proposed amendment violates the federal constitution and seriously threatens the rights, life, and health of all Oklahoma women,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “We are confident the court will block this petition from ever making it to the Oklahoma ballot. Our fundamental rights are not and must never be subject to a ballot initiative.”
The major concerns of reproductive rights activists, medical professionals, and fertility specialists is that by granting “personhood” from the point of fertilization, it would not just outlaw all abortions, even in cases or rape, incest, non-viability or physical harm to the mother, but would also outlaw forms of birth control, emergency contraception, treatment of pregnancy complications and forms of treatments for infertility.
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CRR has announced they are filing suit, “on behalf of Oklahoma physicians who provide a range of reproductive health care to women in Oklahoma—including contraceptives, abortion care, prenatal care and infertility treatment— as well as individual women who would be affected by the amendment.”
So far, no “personhood” amendment has ever succeeded in winning voter approval.