Personhood Act(s) in Oklahoma

Oklahoma's senate recently passed a Personhood Act (SB1433). It was one of two Personhood Acts on the table here. One hasn't been put up for a vote yet (HJR 1067). There has been some confusion with both being referred to as 'Personhood' (there's actually a third, but it doesn't look like it's going anywhere). They both define life beginning at conception, and both give the unborn child (unborn as defined from conception until birth) all of the rights and privileges of citizens. That's where the bill that was passed stops (SB1433). The other keeps going (HJR 1067).

HJR 1067 prohibits the intentional killing of any innocent person, and person(hood) is defined as starting at conception. This would make abortion illegal except in the case of the mothers life being in danger, though it doesn't cover all areas of this, as it states
"Medical treatment for life-threatening physical conditions intended to preserve life" includes but is not limited to treatment for cancer, ectopic and molar pregnancy, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, and placenta previa.
If a woman is raped, it will be illegal her to take emergency contraception. If pregnancy results from incest, it is illegal for a woman to obtain an abortion. The resolution states, "No innocent child created through rape or incest shall be killed for the crime of his or her father."

In vitro, if any fertilized eggs are lost in the process, could also be punishable.

The bill that was passed (it must pass the house still) is a danger to women's rights because is paves the way for resolutions and later bills like HJR 1067. If I was ever raped, you had better believe I would want legal access to emergency contraception.

The representative who authored HJR 1067, Mike Reynolds, is one of those ultimate crazy faces, who I cannot believe is writing legislation for our state. He also wrote the bill to reinstate Don't Ask Don't Tell in Oklahoma.

With the prevelence of child abuse, poverty, and the completely overrun DHS system in Oklahoma, yes, making it impossible for a woman to receive an abortion or emergency contraception seems to be the ticket, right? I want to bang my head against the wall after writing that.

I would like someone to author a bill that requires sexual education (with a clause allowing parents to opt out if it is their desire). But for real, I taught high school freshman. I was pregnant with Cora at the time, so kids somehow felt comfortable discussing the birds and the bees with me. You know, but they were safe because they practiced the pull out method, and that's fool proof. [Banging my head.]

When I came back from maternity leave, two of my female students were pregnant. Before I went on ML, one of my female students had a 9 month old baby girl, and one of my male students had become a father at the beginning of the school year. Yes, for every young mother, there is almost always a young father.

May I add, there are four females serving as senators in the state of Oklahoma. Two of those women were for and two against the bill. Not only are women underrepresented in Oklahoma, half of our representation isn't standing up for our rights (SB1433 passed 34,8).

This quote by Hillary Clinton seems fitting:
I have met thousands and thousands of pro-choice men and women. I have never met anyone who is pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is trusting the individual to make the right decision for herself and her family, and not entrusting that decision to anyone wearing the authority of government in any regard.
What's my take? In a perfect world, abortion would only be legal in the case of rape, incest, or the mother's life being in danger. I suppose in a perfect world, we wouldn't have to worry about any of them. In the world we live in, I don't think abortion should be illegal, but I think free sexual education and contraception should abound.


  1. I agree with your last paragraph aside from the free contraception...if you feel you are mature enough to be sexually active you need to be mature enough to be prepared for all consequences of those actions. I understand teenagers may not have funds, etc. to buy protection and I don't feel teenagers should be having sex anyway- they need to be educated about the facts that having sex will lead to having babies and STDs. Being handed free rubbers so they can "be prepared" is like expecting them to make adult decisions but still treating them like children at the same time! I also grew up in an area where many of my friends were sexually active and had children while in HS. Being told "they're going to do it anyway" is not reason enough for me to start passing out free contraception to everyone...I know you and I will disagree about this I am sure but wanted you to know that I do agree with you on the abortion issues (incest, rape, etc.).

  2. Laurel - I'm not disagreeing, just expanding the conversation. I don't think free contraception should just be for teens. Sexual education, definitely. My students honestly didn't know all the ways in which they could become pregnant. If you look at abortion statistics through the CDC, woman between 20-29 are having the most abortions, even if a child isn't aborted, I'd like to see the number of unwanted pregnancies reduced before they ever start. If a teenager who is properly educated on the biological factors that lead to pregnancy, and choose to have sex using a condom rather than "pulling out" or using nothing at all, I think that is a tick on the side of responsible for them. And one more thing I thought about from your comment. You talked about maturity, and I started thinking about how our bodies are biologically sexually mature long before our society has collectively said we are emotionally mature enough for a pregnancy. How do we reconcile the two when sex drives and sexuality mature so much faster than emotional preparedness?

  3. Hear hear. One of my old friends (who also formerly lived in OK) recently told me about these "personhood" bills. We are both appalled. I would like to say "clearly written by a man," but I didn't know about the two female senators voting for the bill... which completely blows my mind. The whole thing is so preposterous I can hardly believe it. Back to the dark ages, right?

  4. BrieAnn. Question for you? Is murder wrong? So is abortion murder? By your definition it is not. So why is it that if a woman who is pregnant is murdered the murderer is charged with two murders but if a woman wants to take the life of her own baby it is not murder. How hypocritical. By your arguments, you are using the same arguments that Margaret Sanger used who is the founder of planned parenthood. She believed in eugenics which was the same argument that Adolf Hitler used to justify killing millions. Your argument is because there are too many children being born and being on welfare the mothers should be allowed to kill or as you say abort their own child. Is this what you are saying? Because these people will be a "drag" on society, they should not be allowed to be born. To me this is very shameful.

  5. Eugenics was a horrible phase in history that went on for far too long. People were intentionally sterilized, made to feel less than human because their seed couldn't possibly be a contribution to society in the eyes of some. Eugenics is not on my mind at all.

    I think you're crossing two of my arguments, and I apologize for my lack of clarity. In regard to my comment about the state of Oklahoma's DHS program and children born into poverty and abusive homes, that had nothing to do with abortion and more to do with education. Legislators are starting at the wrong end of the spectrum, they need to be writing laws that address those issues, and I believe one of the solutions could be in the form of sexual education and contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancies all together. Most abortions occur in women above the poverty line anyway.

    Laws could be written to provide parents with education on how to handle stressful situations with their children, be given resources of where they could go to for help if they feel completely overwhelmed. I think so much emphasis is put on getting a child out of his or her mother's womb that helping that child and his/her parents afterward is forgotten about. Trying to define when life begins isn't helping any child who is suffering at the hands of his/her parents.

  6. Thank you for articulating this! You are the only person I have responded to or commented on about the issue. And here's all I have to say: I agree with you.



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