You see that thing above that looks kind of like radioactive hushpuppy rolled in hair? Surprise! It’s actually a human being! Or would be, anyway, if Personhood USA gets its way. The group responsible for getting personhood initiatives on the ballots in several states is now, for the first time, aiming for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Personhood initiatives seek to establish legal rights for embryos by defining life as beginning at conception. Under this logic, the moment an egg is fertilized with sperm it becomes a “person” just like you, me and our Americans corporations. And what do you call it when someone ends the life of another person? Murder, of course. In this way, personhood initiatives would not just make abortion at any stage illegal but also tantamount to, say, you shooting me in the face.
For a few years now, supporters of this type of nonsense have been working to get personhood initiatives on state ballots. Recently, Personhood USA was sponsoring a measure in Oklahoma that would have given “inherent rights” to anyone from the “beginning of biological development to the end of natural life.”
Alas, the state Supreme Court was all, ‘Hey guys, um, this would effectively ban abortion in Oklahoma. And since abortion is legal in the U.S. and the Supreme Court has already struck down personhood initiatives … you know. This measure is really f**king unconstitutional.’ [In so many words, of course.] So the Oklahoma high court stopped the group’s ballot petition from circulating. And … EEK.
In states where personhood initiatives have made it to the ballot, they’ve always been voted down thus far, leaving supporters no choice but to try again next time. Because the Oklahoma court never allowed the initiative to get to the ballot in the first place, however, Personhood USA has room to appeal. And appeal they have: The group filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court today claiming the Oklahoma Supreme Court violated citizens first and 10th amendments rights.
It’s the group’s first effort to make their case before the country’s highest court.