On Wednesday, the Oklahoma state Senate voted 34 to 8 in favor of a bill, which states that life begins at conception and would give rights to a fertilized egg. The bill is expected to be passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The Oklahoma State Medical Association has come out against the bill since it could ban women from accessing contraception.
Senator Judy Eason McIntyre (D-Tulsa) stated, "What do we do in Oklahoma? You get in our bodies. Women have a right to make choices about their bodies. Women should not have the government tell us what we can do with our bodies."
If the personhood initiative appears on the ballot, emergency contraception, birth control pills, IUDs, and abortions - even in cases of rape and incest or to save the life of the woman or girl - would be threatened. The initiative would even go so far as to eliminate medical choices for women, including some cancer treatments, in vitro fertilization, and could allow the state to investigate and even prosecute a woman for a miscarriage.
If passed in the Senate and signed by the Governor, the law would directly challenge the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in the US and perhaps Griswold v. Connecticut, which struck down state laws banning birth control.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 2/17/12; Associated Press 2/15/12
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