Oklahoma Speaker of the House Blocks Personhood Act, Personhood USA: “Unforgivable.”
Submitted by jennifer on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
In a procedural move rarely seen or used in Oklahoma politics, Oklahoma Speaker of the House Republican Kris Steele blocked the Oklahoma Personhood Act, SB 1433, from coming to a floor vote today giving pro-abortion supporters hope that the measure would not reach pro-life Governor Mary Fallin’s desk. The bill received the backing of the House Committee on Public Health by a vote of 7 to 4 in late March with a recommendation of “do pass,” and the state Senate by a vote of 34 to 8 in February.
Pro-personhood legislators and several dozen pro-life Oklahoma citizens who arrived for today’s session are currently circulating a petition that would provide the House an opportunity to bypass the Speaker and allow the bill to be put to a full vote. The petition must be signed by 68 of the state’s 101 Representatives.
Both the National Right to Life affiliate, Oklahomans for Life, and Personhood USA affiliate, Personhood Oklahoma have endorsed the measure, with unprecedented support from the Oklahoma Eagle Forum.
Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich released a statement in support of the bill in February:
“I applaud the Republicans and the Democrats in the Oklahoma Senate who voted last week in favor of bipartisan personhood legislation. As I have stated a number of times in this campaign, I support the personhood principle, and I support states finding ways to defend life by defining personhood under their state constitutions. It is my hope that Congress will one day pass pro-life legislation under the 14th Amendment that defines personhood as beginning at conception.”
“The life of each human being begins at conception,“ reads the Oklahoma Personhood Act. When passed in the Senate, Pro Tempore President Brian Bingman was quoted by Reuters as saying, :“Oklahoma is a conservative pro-life state-we are proud to stand up for what we know is right. This bill is one of many Senate Republicans have advanced which affirms the right to life and I am proud to support it,” he added. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/16/us-oklahoma-personhood-idUSTRE…
Setting the legal definition of the beginning of human life, the Personhood Act brings Oklahoma law in line with what scientists have taught for decades.