Despite threats from anti-choice activists that any lawmaker who torpedoed the bill would be labeled “pro-abortion,” Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma refused to allow any procedural measures to pass that would force a vote on an a “fertilized egg-as-person” bill in the House or Senate.
But that doesn’t mean the lawmakers who wanted a bill will be done politicking over the issue. Via the Tulsa Beacon:
State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft said he is disappointed that the personhood bill will not be given a hearing on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
“When I ran for this office, I promised my constituents that I would be a pro-life voice in the Legislature,” Wesselhoft said. “Therefore, my constituents and Republican friends deserve to know that I strongly supported, argued and voted for the Personhood bill to be heard in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
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“Unfortunately, a majority of my Republicans colleagues voted not to hear it. That bill could have sent a vital moral message that human life in the womb is not a blob of tissue but a living person created in the Image of God.
“I don’t believe SB1433 presented a substantive problem but an image problem for the State Chamber of Commerce.”
Prior to the session, lobbying group Oklahomans for Life, Inc. handed out fliers to explain how to force a procedural vote on the floor, stating:
It is with heavy heart that we are forced by House leadership into this course of action. Regrettably, we have no choice but to regard as critical prolife votes any procedural votes necessary to have a House vote on passage of SB 1433 with NO amendments. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to, a Motion to Advance SB 1433 from General Order; appealing the ruling of the Chair, if the Chair has ruled a Motion to Advance out of order; and voting against any Motion to Table the Motion to Advance.
It is with deep regret that we are now forced to regard the failure of any member to support the procedural votes necessary to bring SB 1433 before the House to be proabortion votes.
Personhood Oklahoma is still gathering signatures to try to put a constitutional amendment on the issue on the ballot in November.