NEWSFLASH: “Fetal Personhood” Law Passes Oklahoma Senate

A bill declaring a fertilized egg to be a “person” with constitutional rights has passed the Oklahoma Senate. The bill is expected to pass the Republican-controlled House and be signed into law by the state’s anti-abortion governor, Mary Fallin.

Personhood laws would drastically limit women’s medical options:

By giving constitutional rights to a fertilized egg, the amendment could ban emergency contraception, birth control pills and IUDs as well as all abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman or girl. It could eliminate medical choices for women, such as some cancer treatments or in vitro fertilization. It could allow the state to investigate and even prosecute a woman for a miscarriage.

Such measures have been unpopular with voters. A personhood measure on Mississippi’s November ballot suffered a resounding defeat. But personhood’s proponents are pressing on in 2012, with campaigns in 11 states and counting.

Is a personhood fight looming in your state? The new issue of Ms. lists the likely 2012 battlegrounds and provides a roadmap to defeating personhood measures, detailing how a feminist and civil-rights coalition did so in supposedly anti-abortion Mississippi. Join Ms. today to get the issue sent straight to your mailbox.


  1. How about giving more aid to women who can’t currently keep their babies alive because they have no prenatal care and inadequate food, water, and shelter?? RAGE.

  2. How the hell is this legal??? Roe vs. Wade CLEARLY states you have a federally mandated RIGHT to a legal and safe abortion up till 3 months.

  3. A personhood amendment is about to pass here in Virginia. It’s depressing how so many people, especially men, think it’s okay to limit womens’ healthcare options

    • Um, christy, its a female governor who’s behind this batch of lunacy. If you’re angry at men, now is not the time. There are bigger issues afoot.

  4. This is rape. A rape of our rights. disgusting, stupied people, it sickens me to see what women are going through.
    If women are arrested for a miscarriage, then the male is arrested also, right? After all, he was a helper. Our jails are going to be filled with men and women and children for miscarriage.
    Were they drinking the day they passed this?!

  5. Karen Spencer says:

    Besides the legal issue of Roe v. Wade – which of course the “right to life” people would like to see abolished, there are other complications. Do you jail a pregnant woman who, say, has a glass of wine with dinner or who takes something for a headache or who takes any medication necessary for her health and prescribed by her doctor(s) if it risks harming the fetus? They would have to term that “child abuse”. If a woman is too poor or has no health insurance and doesn’t obtain adequate ante-natal care, is that “child abuse”? If a woman miscarries – for whatever reason – she would have to be investigated for possible “murder”. Does OK have a death penalty? Perhaps we’ll see lots of women on death row for “child murder”. And then there’s the issue of what to do with eggs fertilized during IVF but which have not been implanted. I know there have been court fights, in cases of divorce, over who “owns” the fertilized eggs, but what if a couple completes their desired family and don’t want to use the extra eggs? Do they have to pay for life? Do they have to “endow” the eggs – after all, by the OK senate definition, those eggs are “people”. Would this make it illegal to selectively plant eggs fertilized by IVF? After all, if a couple is known to carry the risk of a genetically sex-linked adverse condition (let’s say an immune disorder – like the “boy in the bubble”) and they only want to have girls, could that be termed “sex discrimination”? Could it be mandated that ALL fertilized eggs be implanted in order to give each “person” an equal chance at life? These are real questions that need to be discussed.

    This is all about each politician wanting to show his electorate that he is “conservative” enough and that he believes in “family values”. My question is: WHOSE family values?

  6. The bizarre and cruel “personhood” attack on women’s rights is supported by all four GOP presidential candidates. See an article I wrote for Huffington Post this week:

  7. This will be challenged on the various legal merits on all the points argued against it (miscarriage, etc.) and WILL be tossed out. It clearly does not take into account all the things that can and DO HAPPEN and could go wrong during a pregnancy. It’s too dangerousa law to be put in place.

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