Last Ditch Effort to Pass Personhood Legislation Fails in Oklahoma
Legislation to define an unborn child to include “the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until birth at every stage of biological development” never made it to a final vote in the Oklahoma House. SB1433, was approved by the Oklahoma Senate in February and later amended by a House committee, but Republican House leaders refused to bring the controversial bill to a vote late last week after an unprecedented number of amendments were filed on the bill in attempts to protect vital forms of reproductive care.
The refusal to allow a vote riled the bill’s supporters and Personhood USA, the pro-life organization backing the bill. A petition circulated on the House floor to force the leadership to bring the bill up for a vote also failed.
In an unusual political development, leadership granted a vote on a House Resolution today which includes language similar to the personhood bill. However, a resolution basically expresses the temperature of the institution on a particular issue, but importantly, does not have any binding application to current law. It was approved 74-13.
ASRM and SART, as well as the infertility patient community, were instrumental in helping to defeat this personhood measure and we are pleased to report another victory in blocking legislation that has as its goal the restriction of reproductive rights. Dr. Eli Reshef served as an influential spokesperson on the harms the bill would create for infertility doctors and their patients and was particularly involved in efforts to educate lawmakers and the press in Oklahoma. We are grateful, too, to the brave lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who worked to defeat this harmful measure.
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