Local & Regional
3:15 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

House Speaker: 'Personhood' bill won't get hearing

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — House Speaker Kris Steele says the Republican caucus has decided in a closed-door meeting not to hear a so-called "personhood" bill that would have granted fertilized human eggs the rights and privileges of other Oklahoma citizens.

Steele says House Republicans voted Thursday not to hear the bill amid concerns that it could lead to a ban on certain forms of birth control and in-vitro fertilization. He says concerns also were voiced that passage of the bill could result in another potential legal challenge.

Proponents of the bill maintain the measure wasn't intended to ban abortions or threaten reproductive medicine, but only to send a message that Oklahomans believe life begins at conception.

Several anti-abortion groups are gathering signatures to have a separate personhood measure placed on the November ballot.