Dan Skerbitz, co-founder and director of Personhood Oklahoma, is seeking 150,000 signatures for an initiative petition so Oklahomans can vote to amend the constitution to state that life begins at fertilization.
He may be facing an uphill battle, however; in Colorado and Mississippi, similar measures were blocked, like sperm by a heavy-duty diaphragm.
Skerbitz told the World that the goal is to challenge Roe v. Wade, and while he said the measure wouldn’t ban contraception that prevents fertilization, it doesn’t provide exceptions in the case of rape or incest.
“It is our position that the child is to be a protected person, regardless of the fact that the child’s father was a criminal,” Skerbitz said. “We believe criminals should be punished and not innocent children.”
Not all think the measure will be added to the constitution, however.
“The important thing here is that this isn’t a well-supported, mainstream movement,” Jordan Goldberg, Center for Reproductive Rights state advocacy counsel, told the Tulsa World. “This is a really small group of people trying to impose their own personal belief about when life begins on a particular state.”
Last legislative session, Rep. Steve Vaughan, R-Ponca City, carried a bill that stated life begins at conception, and while the measure overwhelmingly passed the House, it didn’t get a hearing in the Senate, according to the World.
Vaughan told the paper that the bill is more of a philosophical statement and would not prevent abortion.
“The bottom line is that I think the people of Oklahoma believe life starts at conception — that this is a person and the rights of that individual as a person need to be protected,” Vaughan said.
While we here at Chicken- Fried News aren’t ready to run out and invest heavily in steel wire, it is sort of surprising that in the rush to prove who is more “pro-life,” we haven’t seen a candidate publicly touting the theory that life begins at erection … yet.