The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that a proposed state constitutional amendment defining a human embryo as a “person” is unconstitutional.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled April 30 that a proposed state constitutional amendment that would define a human embryo as a “person” does not pass constitutional muster. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the state’s high court ruled unanimously that the proposed amendment “defining a fertilized human egg as a person violates a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving a Pennsylvania case and ‘is clearly unconstitutional.’ Supporters of the personhood amendment were trying to gather enough signatures to put it before Oklahoma voters on the November ballot.”
The nine-member court said that the initiative is “void on its face,” adding that the only course open to the state justices was “to follow what the United States Supreme Court, the final arbiter of the United States Constitution, has decreed.”
A state pro-life group, Personhood Oklahoma, had been collecting signatures to place the proposed amendment before Oklahoma voters. It read: “A ‘person’ as referred to in Article 2, Section 2 of this Constitution, shall be defined as any human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being to natural death. The inherent rights of such person shall not be denied without due process of law and no person as defined herein shall be denied equal protection under the law due to age, place of residence or medical condition.”
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Photo: The Supreme Court of Oklahoma: Standing (Left to Right): Douglas L. Combs Justice James E. Edmondson, Justice John F. Reif, Justice Noma Gurich; sitting (Left to Right): Justice Joseph M. Watt, Vice-Chief Justice Tom Colbert, Chief Justice Steven W. Taylor, Justice Yvonne Kauger, Justice James R. Winchester