The Oklahoma Supreme Court has vetoed an attempt to get on the ballot a measure that would have given embryos full rights. The ballot measure is part of the personhood movement. It is an attempt to give rights to a small bundle of cells that cannot breathe, eat, or live outside the womb. The court ruled it “clearly unconstitutional”. The measure would have violated the US Supreme Court’s 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This allows states to pass some abortion restrictions so long as they do not block the constitutional right to end a pregnancy.
The court wrote in its decision that “The mandate of Casey is as binding on this Court today as it was twenty years ago. Initiative Petition No. 395 conflicts with Casey and is void on its face and it is hereby ordered stricken.”
Anti-abortion groups want a measure or a law like this on the books so that they can try and get Roe v. Wade overturned. They have not been successful. In Mississippi, where they did go before the voters, the measure lost.
Nancy Northup, the President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights (who filed the suit against the measure) stated “This amendment would have run roughshod over the fundamental, constitutionally protected reproductive rights of all Oklahoma women. In affirming our request to strike it down, the court has struck a powerful blow against the repugnant tactics of those who seek to vote down the rights of others, and to enshrine their hostility to women’s lives, health, and rights in the laws of the land.”