OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla., June 27, 2012/Christian Newswire --
A national campaign to secure victories for legislators who support the recognition of the rights of the preborn and unseat personhood obstructionists continued Tuesday night in the Oklahoma primary election. Representative Guy Liebmann, who voted to prevent the Oklahoma Personhood Act from moving forward, was defeated. Additionally, all six House members who voted to allow the pro-life bill to proceed to a full vote and had a primary opponent won their party's nomination for the general election.
The Oklahoma Personhood Act recognizes that human life begins at conception and affords all unborn children "at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons." The bill sailed through the state Senate by a vote of 34 to 8 in February, and received a "do pass" recommendation from the House Public Health Committee.
The bill enjoyed the support of every pro-life Oklahoma organization including Personhood Oklahoma, Oklahomans for Life, the Oklahoma Eagle Forum, the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, and the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
House Republican leaders stalled the Personhood Act until the final days of the session. After pressure began to mount from the state's pro-life citizens, House Speaker Kris Steele released a statement claiming that the party caucus was surveyed and declined to hear the bill. Pro-life stalwart Rep. Mike Reynolds' last-minute motion to suspend the House rules and bring the measure to a full vote was blatantly disregarded by sitting chairman, Speaker Pro Tempore Jeff Hickman.
A similar citizen-led personhood initiative was stricken by the Oklahoma Supreme Court on April 30th. Personhood USA is appealing the decision to the United States Supreme Court where a favorable ruling would overturn the 20-year-old Planned Parenthood vs. Casey pro-abortion decision.
The Oklahoma primary vote continues the trend in a string of victories for pro-personhood lawmakers. North Dakota Senator and personhood supporter Joe Miller defeated incumbent Senator Curtis Olafson in the June 12th primary. Olafson single-handedly killed two personhood bills in 2009 and 2011.
"The Oklahoma personhood movement has just begun, and already they've shored up victories for every friend of the preborn in the state House," said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. "In the coming months, they will have an opportunity to demonstrate their resolve to end the killing and protect children of all ages by love and by law."