The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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April 30, 2012

Okla. high court strikes down personhood petition

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that an initiative petition that would grant “personhood” rights to human embryos is unconstitutional.

The high court handed down the decision Monday on a petition for a proposed constitutional amendment that would define a fertilized human egg as a person.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights filed a protest with the Supreme Court on behalf of several Oklahoma doctors and residents. The protest says the measure would have far-reaching implications that trump the rights of women.

The Supreme Court’s decision says the proposal “is clearly unconstitutional,” citing a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the right to an abortion. The court says the petition is void and ordered it stricken.

The ruling was unanimous.


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