OK Personhood Bill Fails, Fetal Heartbeat Bill Passes
Oklahoma's proposed Personhood bill will not come to a vote, the state House said on Thursday, but earlier this week the House passed a fetal heartbeat bill that is now awaiting the governor's signature. The House Republican Caucus announced they will not to take up the controversial Personhood bill, saying the decision was based on a Caucus vote. Earlier this week, on a 75 to 12 vote the House passed SB 1274, called the "Heartbeat Informed Consent Act," requiring doctors to ask a woman seeking an abortion if she wants to hear the fetal heartbeat.
Speaker of the Oklahoma House, Kris Steele, said that the decision not to pursue the Personhood bill does not mean the House won't continue to take up anti-abortion measures. In a press conference, he said, "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. You will not find a bigger friend of the unborn than this Legislature, but this bill would not have any substantive policy effect."
Hundreds of women gathered at the Oklahoma state Capitol in March to protest the personhood bill, SB 1433, which states that life begins at conception and would give rights to a fertilized egg. Personhood Oklahoma said in March that it was launching a petition drive to put a personhood proposal to a vote as an amendment to the state constitution this November.
Media Resources: Tulsa World 4/20/12; The Oklahoman 4/20/12; Reuters 4/19/12; NBC Local News 4/19/12; Feminist Daily News Wire 3/2/2012