Oklahoma Senate passes Personhood Act, saying life begins at conception

After two hours of debate, the state Senate voted 34-8 for a bill that states life begins at the moment of conception.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com Published: February 16, 2012
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He said the bill was a lobbyist request from the group Oklahomans for Life, but he would not name people who had sought the bill.

Oklahoma already has some of the strictest regulations on the books when it comes to abortions. Only three clinics in the state perform abortions, and the abortion rate in Oklahoma is lower than the national average, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2008, about 10 out of every 1,000 women had an abortion in Oklahoma, lower than the national average of almost 20 abortions per 1,000 women.

“What would I do in the situation where one of my daughters found themselves with an unwanted pregnancy?” Crain said. “I would hope that my children would say, ‘Dad, I choose life. ... I would like to raise this child or I can't raise this child but I would like to bring this child into the world and then that child could be adopted.'”

Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, made a plea for the men of the Senate not to take that choice away from women.

“We say we're pro-life out here, but we don't do anything to limit pregnancies,” Wilson said. “We could do medically accurate sex education, but we choose not to do that. We could make birth control more available, but we choose not to do that.”

Related measures

The bill, now headed to the House, is one of several the Legislature will consider that deals with abortion. SB 1274 requires that women listen to the heartbeat of a fetus before having an abortion.

House Joint Resolution 1067 would make the personhood issue a vote of the people.

Read Senate Bill 1433 Language Read Senate Bill 1274 Language Read Senate Bill 1067 Language


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