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Oklahoma embryo referendum struck down

May 1, 2012 at 12:28 AM   |   Comments

OKLAHOMA CITY, May 1 (UPI) -- The Oklahoma Supreme Court Monday ruled a proposed referendum on defining a fertilized human egg as a person is unconstitutional.

In a 9-0 decision, Oklahoma's highest court said Initiative Petition No. 395 violates a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court opinion upholding the right of a woman to have an abortion, The Oklahoman reported. The ruling was in line with the court's previous decisions that unconstitutional initiatives should not be presented to voters on a ballot, the newspaper said.

If the measure had been put before Oklahoma voters in November, as proponents sought, and passed, it would have effectively banned all abortions and many types of contraception, officials with The Center for Reproductive Rights said. It also would have put into question fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization, said the group, which brought the legal challenge.

Dan Skerbitz of Tulsa, director of Personhood Oklahoma, said the group was disappointed.

"We're going to look at the legal ramifications of the ruling and what legal options are there if any, and then also how that impacts what we're trying to do from just a pro-life option, which will never stop," he said.

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