Oklahoma Personhood Measure Predicted to Become Law

In big news for the pro-life movement today, Oklahoma is positioned to become the first state to pass a Personhood law.  Personhood laws recognize the right to life of every unborn child at each stage of development and do not allow for abortion based on Roe v. Wade.  The Oklahoma Senate has already passed this law by a great majority…34 to 8.

A Tulsa Senator, Brian Crain, sponsored this law which, if passed, will become historic.  State Senates or Houses have passed Personhood laws previously.  But so far, no state has been able to get passage from both the Senate and the House. Crain’s law is positioned to do just that, as the Oklahoma House and Governor Mary Fallin are reportedly very pro-life.

Oklahomans for Life has been supporting the law in the months leading up to the legislative vote.  They’ve helped to collect signatures showing the support of Oklahoma’s citizenry.  The group’s Chairman, Tony Lauinger, explains:

We hope that as many lives can be saved as is possible to save, and not only does that benefit the child whose life is spared, but it benefits the mother who steps back from the irrevocable, lethal act of taking her child’s life.

The wording of the Oklahoma Personhood law, as with most Personhood measures, is simple and to the point.  You can read more about Personhood measures–their basis, educational resources, etc. here.  Any person picking up this piece legislation will be able to easily understand it…quite a feat in our day of pork barrel legislation that quite literally includes everything under the sun.  Take a look for yourself at two of the most significant portions of the law:

B.  The Oklahoma legislature finds that:
        1.  The life of each human being begins at conception;
        2.  Unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and      well-being…

C.  The laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state.

The law goes on to give protection for women who do not intend to cause harm to their unborn child.  You can read the full text at the bottom of the page here.

Senator Crain explains that this law is modeled after a 1986 Missouri law that was later determined by the U.S. Supreme Court to be constitutional.  However, there is some difference in the laws as the portion of the Missouri law declaring that human life began at conception was included in a preamble, rather than an actual law.

Pro-lifers should follow this situation closely as it develops in Oklahoma.  If you live in Oklahoma, contact Senator Crain or Oklahomans for Life and find out what you can do to support and help this law pass the House.

You can also contact Governor Mary Fallin who is pro-life, and share your thoughts about the measure at the contact information below:
Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 212
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
E-mail: info@gov.ok.gov
Local: (405) 521-2342

  • Kelsey.

    This is a disgusting inhibitor to personal freedoms and rights.
    I am not for using abortion as a form of birth control, but it SHOULD BE AVAILABLE. Especially to women with medical conditions that could end in complications in pregnancy or birth defects to the child.

    • http://twitter.com/FreedomRed1 Freedom Red

      Birth defects..? thats the MOST abhorrent reason for an abortion. Fascism much?

      • Mei

        We’re not talking about an extra toe here, we’re talking about problems where both the mother and child would suffer and possibly not survive.  Ectopic pregnancies are particularly terrible. The fetus develops outside the uterus and has little chance of survival. Why make both mother and fetus suffer while the mother waits for her body to reject the pregnancy? It’s very dangerous and could cause serious infection in the mother. Not to mention the psychological toll it would take on everyone involved. 

        • Helpful

           Don’t give me that “to save the mother’s life” crap! In Ireland all abortions are illegal, and they have the lowest maternal mortality rate in the world. Check your facts before you start advocating for a position that’s total bs.

        • Del

          Personhood would not prevent the treatment of ectopic pregnancy.

          Planned Parenthood and NARAL are the only ones spreading this misinformation, that needed life-saving treatment would become illegal under this law.  They have not provided any legal briefs explaining how this might be a possible consequence of this law, but they sure have posted up the YouTube video warnings.

        • MoonChild02

          In the surgery that is required with an ectopic pregnancy, the death of the child is an unfortunate side-effect, not a direct effect.

          “The natural parents of unborn children have protectable interests in the life, health, and well-being of their unborn child.”

          “Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as creating a cause of action against a woman for indirectly harming her unborn child by failing to properly care for herself or by failing to follow any particular program of prenatal care.”

          The above quotes from the law can be interpreted, albeit a bit loosely, to mean that nothing can be done to a woman for taking care of her own health, if doing so is not in the interest of the unborn child, especially when both mother and child would otherwise be harmed.

    • Sarah M

      Actually, this seems like a potential expansion of personal freedoms and rights for people who wouldn’t have any liberties otherwise. And it would be ESPECIALLY liberating for the people with disabilities you mentioned, as in utero discrimination against them has gone on for much too long.

    • Popebrandon13

      Its not an inhibitor. Life begins at conception so since the baby is alive he/she should be protected since they can’t fight for freedom or life. What if your mom just killed you. You wouldn’t be sounding stupid right now!!

    • Del

      Why?

      This is an awesome protector of personal freedoms and rights.  A child should be allowed to live. 

      Abortion is the ultimate denial of freedom and rights.

    • MoonChild02

      Inhibitor to personal freedom and rights? What about the rights of the living human being inside of the woman? What about the rights of the women who have been hurt by abortion? What about the women who are told that they have no right to keep their child, like that teenager in Texas? What about women who are goaded into abortion by their family, friends, teachers, bosses, and even clinic personnel, when they don’t really want one? What about the women who are forced into an abortion by an abortionist, who gets away with it (i.e. Tiller, Egherman, and Hodari)?

      Abortion is the disgusting inhibitor to personal freedoms and rights! This law is vindication!

      • Rubylaurie

        My parents tried  to  talk  me into an abortion when I was  pregnant  with  my first child. I thank God (that I had God in  my life) and that I  had the spirituality, love, and knowledge to carry out my pregnancy.  My oldest son Jeremy is  now 31, is an Iraq veteran, and is now doing civilian work in  Afghanistan. He is a handsome man, 6’2″ with beautiful blue eyes and sandy brown hair.  I love him very much and the world would not be the same without him. I divorced his father very young and I did not have an easy life but I would never regret any of my four children, they are AWESOME!!!!!

      • Rubylaurie

        My parents tried  to  talk  me into an abortion when I was  pregnant  with  my first child. I thank God (that I had God in  my life) and that I  had the spirituality, love, and knowledge to carry out my pregnancy.  My oldest son Jeremy is  now 31, is an Iraq veteran, and is now doing civilian work in  Afghanistan. He is a handsome man, 6’2″ with beautiful blue eyes and sandy brown hair.  I love him very much and the world would not be the same without him. I divorced his father very young and I did not have an easy life but I would never regret any of my four children, they are AWESOME!!!!!

    • Tomwalls85

      You have the personal right and freedom to spread your legs. You should not have any say on weather it not the life you made whole enjoying your freedom lives or dies as a matter of your convenience

    • Isa241

      Why don’t you suuport women using abortion as birth control if that’s what they decide to do?
      What specifically is wrong with that?

    • Charlotte

      Doctors don’t always know everything. They can be wrong. My best friend was supposed to have been born ‘abnormal,’ and the doctors suggested that her parents abort. Thankfully, they didn’t, and my friend is a perfectly healthy, normal member of society. You can never tell for sure what will happen.

  • Oedipa

    So, will this mean that women will be prosecuted for pursuing abortion? Or miscarrying? Or having a drink or a rail?

    In any event, Oklahoma is a backwater, they can pursue whatever reactionary politics they choose with little or no impact on their internal politics. The more interesting story is Virginia. They’re on the same path as Oklahoma in pursuing “personhood” legislation, and the GOP there is about to drive the moderate, beltway, northern Virginians away from their party for a generation.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    • Del

      Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Kansas, and several other backwater states.  Eventually, all 48 backwater states will know the difference between a Person and Non-Person.

      We don’t care about Republicans, especially.  What we wish for is that the Democrats will someday become a Party that protects life and liberty.  We are tired of living in an America that has such a strong “Death and Oppression Party.”

    • MoonChild02

      No, women will not be prosecuted,  at least not for the latter two questions.  The law provides for the cases where the mother’s health is in danger, or where she doesn’t take care of herself.

      “The natural parents of unborn children have protectable interests in the life, health, and well-being of their unborn child.”

      “Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as creating a cause of action against a woman for indirectly harming her unborn child by failing to properly care for herself or by failing to follow any particular program of prenatal care.”

      Oklahoma is not a “backwater”, at least not as much as you might think. Tulsa is a large urban area, as is Oklahoma City. Oklahoma does a large amount of the oil production and refining in our country. They have a rich musical culture in the areas of  classical, jazz, blues, country, and rock ‘n’ roll (i.e. Mayfest and Oklahoma Mozart Festival).  The Tulsa Ballet is one of the top ballet companies in the US (and that was said by the New York Times). They have some of the top cancer treatment hospitals in the country, including the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and INTEGRIS Cancer Institute of Oklahoma.

      Many discount Oklahoma because it is “Bible Belt” territory, and others think
      it’s mostly agricultural. However, Oklahoma is just as religious as any
      other state (they just happen to be predominantly Protestant Christian),
      and they have nowhere near the amount of farmland as California. Oklahoma ranks 27th in the country for agricultural production, while California ranks first.

      Every state has it’s contribution to our country, and should not be discounted. I often joke that Texas shouldn’t be counted, but in reality, even they play a major role in our country, in culture as well as politics.  Same with Oklahoma. They’re one of the fifty states of the United States, and our country would not be the same without them.

      • Oedipa

        Yes I knew the “backwater” comment wouldn’t go down well, but it’s not as demeaning as many think it is. It literally means a river that doesn’t incur much change in direction. Oklahoma’s politics won’t change as a result of this legislation. Virginia’s will. That was my point.

        More importantly, I fear your wrong about women facing charges for not nurturing their pregnancy like the powers that be would prescribe.

        Google Rennie Gibbs. She’s a Mississippi woman charged with murder for miscarrying because of her cocaine habit.

        Google Bei Bei Shuai. She’s a Indiana woman being charged with murder for miscarrying after a suicide attempt.

        Google Amanda Kimbrough. She’s an Alabama woman (Alabama is the worst offender in this regard) who’s actually pro-life, declined an abortion when her fetus was tested with Down’s syndrome, had a c-section and unfortunately watched the infant die 19 minutes later. She’s being wrung up for “chemical endangerment to a child” because they suspect she was a drug user.

        You really think Oklahoma will be able to keep a lid on that kind of zealotry, now that they’ve taken this “personhood” step?

        • MoonChild02

          It’s in the Personhood law that the state cannot prosecute. If it’s in the law that they cannot be prosecuted for not taking care of themselves, the women can contest the charges in court, and then sue the state for emotional harm. That could cost the state thousands, maybe millions of dollars, all because they broke their own law.

          As for the backwater comment, I know what it means, but I also know that a lot of people use it to mean that what is being described as such has no effect on anything outside of the area, itself, i.e. when one of my aunts refers to the tiny town she lives in, in Kentucky.

  • http://twitter.com/NewAngelina Angelina

    Does this mean I can add a dependent for my taxes as soon as I get pregnant?

    • Del

      Nope.  The tax definition of the dependent is a born child.

      Tax definitions have very little to do with reality.  For example, a child born on December 31 gets a full-year’s exemption, as does a child who survives for only a few minutes after live birth. But a stillborn child, aborted child or miscarried child do not.  Blindness gets an extra exemption, but deafness does not.

      A child ceases to be a child-dependent when he turns 18 — unless he is a full-time student, then he turns 24.  But he no longer qualifies for the Child Tax Credit when he turns 17.

      Don’t base your reality on the tax code!
       
      The State of Oklahoma can recognize that pre-born persons are worthy of protection under the Constitution.  The Tax Code and do whatever it wants to.

    • Dbj32566

      If one needs another child to assist for tax purposes then maybe work more and play less.  Easily said than done in this economy, but the simple words of “no” still hold value.  I guess what I am rambling towards is the fact that if one can’t afford what one has, don’t add to it. 

  • Kristiburtonbrown

    People seem to be forgetting that Personhood laws do not exalt the unborn child’s right to life over the mother’s.  The mother still has a right to life.  If her life is at risk, she can act to protect her life (as long, of course, as her purpose is not to specifically take another’s life).  But, as in other areas of law, if the mother or her doctor act with the purpose of saving her own life and the baby sadly dies as a result (as in chemotherapy or ectopic pregnancies), this is not illegal.  That mother still has her right to life.  Personhood measures do not take that away from her.  

    • McRay

      To save the life of the mother is a rare event if ever needed.  This is bull.

      • Letscook1

         Where did you get your medical degree from?

        • Dbj32566

          Johns Hopkins

    • http://twitter.com/whitewolfe001 C.E. Wolfe

      The last abortion doctor who was murdered performed late-term abortions for women whose health had become endangered by the pregnancy.  While the mother’s life was in jeapordy, no one would perform such a procedure besides him, so women flew from all over the country to see him.  People don’t understand this kind of exemption.  Plus it’s a slippery slope and every case is different.  For instance, you could argue that a mother’s health and life are endangered because she is so distraught over being forced to carry a baby to term? If this is passed, pregnant women will seek back-alley abortions.  Unprofessional procedures result in the termination of the baby’s life, and often the mother’s too.  That is why Roe v. Wade ultimately got passed. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DZTGBXFWFTJTAYB4RM42ZTH5EQ Douglas

    This law will make Oklahoma the greatest state in the union, in my un-sought opinion.  I will be buying Oklahoman often! :)

  • divegirl1215

    IM SO HAPPY THAT I WANT TO CRY!! THANK YOU LORD!!!! Let’s keep working to make this apply for ALL states!!! And then the WHOLE WORLD!!

    • Letscook1

       Yeah, like Brazil and Somalia.

  • Skbrandt31

    I want them to pass this because this piece of legislation has been so back and forth from state to state.  Its time to make it work for us.  Roe vs. Wade was a very criminal piece of law. 

  • Guest

    Just don’t ask Lila Rose to speak…

  • Guest

    Let me preface my comment by saying that I’m pro-life, and I don’t like abortion or its consequences on individuals or society. That being said, if Oklahoma’s going to be pro-life and take a stance for pro-life, then it needs to be pro ALL life.  It’s good to protect a baby’s life in the womb — it needs to be done — but what about after the child is born, too? What if that child ends up with autism? Oklahoma is not doing a god job providing for those children. We had to leave the state just to find services for our son. Even if services were available in Oklahoma, we couldn’t have paid for it, anyway, because insurance doesn’t cover it, and our supposed pro-life Congress didn’t see fit to make that coverage mandatory. Talk about an oppressed people group — it’s families dealing with autism. Like I said, I think it’s great that Oklahoma’s pro-life, but let’s not limit the issue to abortion. Unfortunately, all “pro-life” issues center on this one subject, and discussions cease once babies are able to be born. If this passes, it will considered pro-life’s victory even though “life” lasts much longer than the day of birth. Fighting for a human’s rights shouldn’t end with just making sure the child is allowed to be born. Let’s protect BORN babies, too. Pro-life means pro-LIFE, not just pro-birth. ALL life deserves rights. ALL children deserve a chance at a normal life.

    • Xgr2012

       I am very sad that you could not find the help that you needed while in the state of Oklahoma. But the abortion issue is the priority right now because people’s lives are being ended and it is the job of the government to protect those lives. It is not the responsibility of the state to take care of the people financially although it is good if they do so. But when the government takes care of someone, it is taking money away from someone else. I think that its better to let the people themselves, not the government, give to charities and families like yours that need the extra help. My church and many other churched try to help with things like this.

  • Jmrichards38

    God bless Oklahoma and her law makers! Roe vs Wade was the first time in history a felony became a right. The voices of the 59,000,000 lost children are finally being heard. As the mother of 7, five of whom are girls, I am so heartened that my daughters are not the only ones who recognize the unequaled value of motherhood. We would all have given our lives for our children, born and unborn. My grand daughter is carrying her first child at this moment and my heart is filled with joy in knowing that come what may my precious grndchild is safe in her care. We have seen this blessed baby already and its personhood is ever so tiny but ever so real. Again, thank you Oklahoma for being the first to return to decency and a real love of womanhood and their unequaled role  in the begings of human life.

  • Sue G

    Even if it is enacted it will soon be deemed unconstitutional.

    • Oedipa

       Uh, yeah. Then there’s that.

  • Robert

    God bless Oklahoma and this awesome news. I pray other states will follow their lead.

  • tntlxll

    And now mothers can apply for a bigger slice of the gov’ment pie 9months sooner… regardless if she carries to term. She can take out insurance on her baby in case the baby doesn’t make it to birth. Somebody gonna get paid!!! :)

  • Lambeck

    So if a bunch of knuckleheads pass a law the conflicts with the ruling of the SCOTUS they think that changes the Constitution. Not likely!

  • http://twitter.com/whitewolfe001 C.E. Wolfe

    If this is passed, desperate women will seek back-alley abortions, just as they did before Roe v. Wade.  It will not “save lives”, it will take more lives, because an unprofessional procedure results in not only the death of the fetus, but sometimes the mother as well. 

  • http://twitter.com/whitewolfe001 C.E. Wolfe

    So what if you work for a Christian organization in Oklahoma? The church doesn’t want to cover birth control on their insurance plans. Abortion will be illegal, but insurance won’t cover birth control, either.  I guess if you’re a Christian female in OK your only choices will be:  Don’t EVER have sex, or, model yourself after the Duggar family.