Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Organizations Challenge Dangerous Proposed Initiative to Redefine “Person”
Originally released March 29, 2012
Corrected March 30, 2012
Robyn Shepherd, ACLU National, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma, (405) 525-3831; email@example.com
OKLAHOMA CITY – A lawsuit was filed today on behalf of six Oklahoma voters – including women’s health providers – against an Oklahoma ballot initiative that would ban vital health services by granting fertilized eggs and embryos the same constitutional rights as people. The voters are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Oklahoma and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
“By their own admission, the proponents of this initiative aim to strip women and families of their established right to decide whether and when to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy to term,” said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “This initiative insults Oklahoma women’s intelligence and dignity by denying access to basic health services.”
If passed, the initiative would outlaw many critical reproductive health services, including all abortion care, commonly used forms of birth control, in vitro fertilization and treatment for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages.
"It’s been nearly four decades since the Supreme Court ruled that women have the right to safe, legal abortion services,” said Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “Yet state legislatures continue to attack that right through dangerous, outrageous initiatives such as this one. This is unacceptable. We must respect a woman’s capacity to make private, personal decisions about her reproductive health with her doctor and her family.”
More information on this case can be found at: www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/re-initiative-petition-no-395-state-question-no-761-or-oklahoma-personhood