(Updated April 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm MDT)
The Republican caucus in the Oklahoma House of Representatives has voted to kill the proposed Personhood Act and not let it go to a vote on the House floor. The bill sailed through the Oklahoma Senate by a vote of 34-7 earlier this year and was widely expected to do so in the Republican-dominated House as well. It was assumed Republican Governor Mary Fallin, an abortion opponent, would then sign the bill into law. Proponents of the bill were quick to criticize the action and called for a full and public vote of the House. Opponents, from the beginning, had expressed concern that the bill would restrict abortions, birth control, in-vitro fertilization, and stem cell research.
NewsOK reported on Friday:
“This decision was not made unilaterally, but as a caucus collectively,” said House Speaker Kris Steele (R), who said he would have voted for the so-called personhood measure. “The fact is this bill sends a statement Oklahoma has already made. We’re already perhaps the most pro-life state in this country, having passed at least 30 various pro-life measures in the past eight years alone.” …
… Steele said House Republicans also voiced concern about possible litigation. A lawsuit was filed last month against an initiative petition drive to put a similar measure on the Nov. 6 ballot. That constitutional amendment would define a fertilized human egg as a human being and would ban abortions and outlaw certain forms of birth control.
If nothing else, the action shows that not all Republicans have joined the ultraconservative movement to use all possible means to restrict and/or deny women’s rights to privacy and control over their own reproductive health decisions.
Let’s hope those thinking Republicans will not ultimately be outweighed by the likes of Oklahoma Rep. Pam Peterson (R), whose fetal heartbeat bill is on its way to Gov. Fallin’s desk. The bill essentially duplicates an existing law requiring that a pregnant woman hear her fetus’s heartbeat before an abortion.
More than 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States since the procedure was legalized in 1973, she said.
“If we had all those babies working, paying taxes, that’s an economic issue,” Peterson said. “We are suffering the consequences of Roe v. Wade now in the 21st century. We now have more baby boomers, and we have nobody to replace us.”
So … let’s see … Roe v. Wade is causing an economic issue … an underpopulation problem (that’s a problem?) and … umm … a reduced tax base (?) … so we need to overturn it to fix the economy … or … er, pay into her Social Security fund or … hmm … save the babies just to replace “us” … “us” being her … or Republicans? Overturn Roe v. Wade to assure the supply of Republicans!? Egad, what a fiendish idea! Assuming, of course, that they’d all grow up to be Republicans …
Note: On April 10, Arizona enacted a law saying that pregnancy begins two weeks before conception.
More on Oklahoma personhood bill:
- Oklahoma House won’t take up personhood bill (newsok.com)
- Another Conservative State Fails To Pass ‘Personhood’ Legislation (thinkprogress.org)
- OK: Oklahoma “personhood” bill fails in Legislature (reuters.com)
- Oklahoma GOP Leadership Fails to Bring Personhood Act to Floor Vote (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
And on the Arizona law:
- AZ Legislature Passes “Pregnancy Begins 2 Weeks Before Conception” Bill (thenewcivilrightsmovement.com)
- Arizona Abortion Bill: Legislators Pass Three Bills, Including One That Redefines When Life Begins (huffingtonpost.com)
10 thoughts on “Oklahoma GOP kills personhood bill”
Good grief, talk about “theories with holes big enough to shove galaxies through!” Do these people ever actually listen to themselves? Or is everything they say passed through some weird “God’s Army” speech processor before it gets back to their ears? Thank goodness for the few who didn’t down the entire glass of “Cosmic Kool-Aid!” 😯
Scary to think people like Peterson are writing laws in this country, isn’t it? I’m stunned (but delighted) that there were enough sane Republicans left in Okla. to shoot down that personhood nonsense. I figured it was a done deal.
I was tempted to ask if you’d thought about erasing the traces of your Oklahoma heritage, but I figured you felt bad enough already! 😉
With three siblings still living there, and most of my life spent there … lots of mixed emotions.
Ms. Peterson is quite the optimist if she thinks parents can pre-determine the political mien of their offspring. Although I only have three children I have been 100% unsuccessful in doing that. As for the presumed motivation of the OK legislators in quashing the bill, I do not believe for a New York minute they had a change of heart on the issue. What I think happened is that they read the national political polls and realized that the personhood issue was putting a serious hurt on their chances in the presidential race with the majority of women voters. They may be fanatics but they ain’t stupid.
Ms. Peterson’s statement is so Palinesque that I don’t pretend for a second to understand her reasoning. As for the others, you summed it up nicely. Except that I think they’ve already pushed the social issues too long and too hard, and too many voters are not going to forget it. I know I’m not.
Gawd, I wish I were as optimistic about voter resolve as you guys!
Actually I’m not. I’m just hoping if I say it often enough, it will be so. I fear most voters don’t have sense enough to come in out of the rain. And they have the memory of gnats.