OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - A proposed 'personhood' law in Oklahoma that would grant embryos full rights as people from the moment of conception failed in the state's Legislature without coming to a vote in the House of Representatives, lawmakers said on Thursday.
The bill, which backers hoped would provide a path to roll back the constitutional right to an abortion, had sailed through the Oklahoma Senate in February by a 34-8 vote. Many thought the Republican-dominated House would rubber-stamp the bill.
But Republican lawmaker Sally Kern said the measure failed before reaching the floor of the House....
...If an embryo has full legal rights, abortion would represent murder. The bill, which had been amended nearly two dozen times in committee, did not carve out exceptions for rape or incest.
...The bill did say that nothing in the law would bar the use of in-vitro fertilization or interfere with the disposal of unused embryos or their use in stem cell research. Nor would the bill have barred contraception measures such as the "morning-after" pill or treatment for ectopic pregnancies, in which the pregnancy occurs outside the womb.
...The initiatives were designed to provoke legal challenges from abortion-rights supporters, with the ultimate goal of giving the Supreme Court a vehicle to overturn its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, according to Keith Mason, a leader of the movement.
Oklahoma's bill sought to go further than Missouri's in challenging Roe v. Wade by not including language acknowledging that it defers to the court and Constitution...