It's less terrible day than usual to be a uterus (or, if you want to get technical, "woman," or "baby holder") in the West South Central United States today. Earlier, a federal judge ruled that Texas' law to exclude Planned Parenthood from its Women's Health Program was unconstitutional. And now, like a frustrated dad trying to argue with a precocious teenager, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that attempts to include a "personhood" amendment on November's ballot are "clearly unconstitutional."
At issue was a personhood ballot initiative, which would have added an amendment to the state's constitution that defined life at starting at the moment of conception (when the sperm/man says it does!) and granted zygotes, fetuses, and the pre-born the same rights as their living, breathing, walking, taxpaying counterparts. It would have outlawed all abortion and brought into question the legality of hormonal birth control, IUD's, emergency contraception, and in vitro fertilization. Since it defined "the unborn" as "people," it also would have had complicated ramifications for property rights and post-miscarriage protocol ("post fetal suicide"). Initiative Petition 395 would have put the amendment up for a popular vote, and proponents of bill hoped it would meet a better fate than the basically identical measure considered and rejected by voters in Mississippi.
The Justices found that "the measure is clearly unconstitutional" and referenced the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey Supreme Court case as precedent. In a delightfully tasty bit of smack down laying, the ruling closes with text indicating that Initiative Petition 395 is "void on its face and its order stricken." Following the Chief Justice's sign off, "ALL JUSTICES CONCUR." The judicial equivalent of STFU.
Now can we please stop wasting everyone's time with this "a zygote is a person" nincompoopery?
Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules "Personhood" Initiative "Clearly Unconstitutional" [Center For Reproductive Rights]