Oklahoma Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling to block unconstitutional ballot measure stands
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s
to block a proposed ballot measure that would have given every fertilized human egg the full rights and protections of a person—adding to the growing list
of courts, legislatures, and voters across the country that have rejected this extreme attempt to restrict women’s constitutional reproductive rights.
As the Oklahoma Attorney General acknowledged, this so-called “personhood” measure would have “generally prohibit[ed] abortion,” as well as severely
threatened women’s access to some forms of contraception, fertility treatments like in-vitro fertilization, and a wide range of other medical care,
including the treatment of ectopic pregnancies and stem cell research.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, along with the American Civil Liberties Union and local Oklahoma partners,
filed the legal challenge
to strike down the initiative petition in March. After the state Supreme Court ruled it could not be added to the November ballot because it was “clearly
unconstitutional,” proponents of the extreme measure
the case to the U.S. Supreme Court in July.
Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“Today’s rejection by the highest court in the nation is yet another resounding message to the opponents of reproductive freedom that such extremist
assaults on our fundamental rights will not stand.
“The Oklahoma State Supreme Court was right to block this callous amendment from the state ballot—calling the proposal ‘clearly unconstitutional’ under
both the state and U.S. Constitution.
“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 health care.”
The Center filed the suit, In re Initiative Petition No. 395, State Question No. 761, with Michelle Movahed as lead counsel, along with Alexa
Kolbi-Molinas and Talcott Camp of the ACLU Foundation, Anne Zachritz and Chelsea Smith, Martha Hardwick, Hardwick Law Office, and
Ryan Kiesel of ACLU-Oklahoma Foundation.