Supreme Court Denies Personhood Appeal in Oklahoma

The US Supreme Court refused to hear a case on Monday brought on by the anti-abortion group Personhood Oklahoma, rejecting its attempt to challenge the Oklahoma court’s ruling against a proposed Personhood ballot measure in the state. The “personhood” amendment, which has also appeared (and was subsequently defeated) in states like Colorado and Mississippi, defines personhood under state law as beginning at the moment of fertilization. This would grant fertilized eggs the same constitutional rights as a person, and would serve to ban abortion, and could also outlaw emergency contraception, IUDS, invitro fertilization, and stem cell research.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court had ruled in April that Personhood Oklahoma’s proposed ballot measure would violate the constitution, saying that states must abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling that abortion is legal. The Supreme Court, by denying the group’s appeal, deferred to the decision made by the lower court.

President of the Center for Reproductive Rights Nancy Northrop said in July when the group petitioned the Supreme Court, “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. […]The scope of the fundamental rights and longstanding court precedents under attack by the opponents of reproductive rights is stunning.”

Personhood groups failed to get enough signatures for the Colorado and Florida ballots in the November election.

Media Resources: ThinkProgress 10/30/12; The Hill 10/29/12; Feminist Daily News 7/31/12 and 5/7/12

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