On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the application by anti-abortion group Personhood Oklahoma to review the decision of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which struck down the ballot initiative termed as “personhood amendment.” The group wanted the measure to be put to vote in Oklahoma to define an embryo as a human being from the moment it was conceived, at the stage of a fertilized egg.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court had struck down the initiative holding that the proposed amendment to the state’s constitution was “clearly unconstitutional” as the issue had already been decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
While the Center for Reproductive Rights, the ACLU and local abortion rights groups had sued in March to block the proposed initiative, and got a ruling in their favor, Personhood Oklahoma challenged the state court’s decision and appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The appellants had argued that the decision of Oklahoma Supreme Court to block the initiative from being put to ballot deprived supporters of the measure of their rights to free speech and of their rights to participate in the democratic process.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court, refused to hear the case without adding any comment.
Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights said in a statement welcoming the rejection order, “Pure and simple, these tactics are an affront to our nation’s Constitution and a bald-faced attempt to foreclose women’s access to a full range of reproductive healthcare.”
However, similar initiatives have been placed on ballot in Colorado and Mississippi, though in both states, such amendment measures have been defeated.
The case is Personhood Oklahoma v. Barber et al, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-145.