Personhood group plans to appeal Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: July 28, 2012

A national group plans to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal an Oklahoma ruling that its proposed ballot issue to define a fertilized human egg as a person is unconstitutional.

Personhood USA will announce its appeal Monday, representatives of the group said Friday.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling April 30, which stated the personhood proposal was void and should be stricken.

They said the U.S. Supreme Court already has ruled, in 1973's Roe v. Wade decision, that women have a constitutional right to an abortion.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled in the past that unconstitutional initiatives should not appear on a ballot for voters' consideration.

The personhood proposal, Initiative Petition No. 395, would have effectively banned all abortions and many types of birth control, as well as severely threatened fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization, said officials with The Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit questioning its constitutionality. Backers were trying to get the personhood proposal on November's general election ballot.

Supporters of the personhood proposal were attempting to get signatures of about 155,000 registered voters to be able to put the question on the Nov. 6 ballot.

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