ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
77°
Sunny
H 91° L 68°
  • clear-night
    77°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 91° L 68°
  • clear-day
    88°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 91° L 68°
  • clear-day
    86°
    Evening
    Sunny. H 92° L 68°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Local
Suit filed over Oklahoma personhood ballot measure
Close

Suit filed over Oklahoma personhood ballot measure

Suit filed over Oklahoma personhood ballot measure
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Suit filed over Oklahoma personhood ballot measure

A petition to amend the Oklahoma Constitution to define a fertilized human egg as a person is unconstitutional and would have far-reaching implications that trump the rights of women, a group argued in a legal protest filed Thursday to stop the effort.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights filed the protest with the Oklahoma Supreme Court on behalf of several Oklahoma doctors and residents.

They want the court to stop Personhood Oklahoma from gathering signatures in an attempt to place a proposed amendment to the constitution on the November ballot.

"Let's save the taxpayers of Oklahoma the time and expense of collecting and verifying signatures, placing this question on the ballot and sending something that we know is unconstitutional to a vote of the people," said Ryan Kiesel, the executive director of the ACLU's Oklahoma chapter and a former Democratic lawmaker.

Personhood Oklahoma launched its initiative petition on March 1 and has 90 days from that date to gather signatures from about 155,000 registered Oklahoma voters.

If successful, the group wants to have a proposed amendment to the constitution on the ballot that defines a person as "any human being from the beginning of biological development to natural death."

Petition organizers have said their goal is to ban abortions and set up a legal challenge to the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 that gave women a legal right to abortion.

The director of Personhood Oklahoma did not return a telephone message seeking comment, but the national group released a statement saying the legal challenge was not unexpected.

"The opponents of personhood will stop at nothing to deny the people of Oklahoma their First Amendment right to petition the government on behalf of the preborn and ultimately recognize the most basic and fundamental human rights of the smallest and most defenseless people group," said Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA.

Similar proposals were defeated last year in Mississippi and Colorado, but the national anti-abortion group Personhood USA is pushing ballot measures in a dozen other states.

In the legal petition filed Thursday, the plaintiffs maintain the proposed amendment "would confer rights on a fertilized egg that trump the rights of each woman to determine whether and when to conceive and whether to carry a pregnancy to term."

They argue the proposal would ban abortions without exceptions and interfere with a woman's right to use certain forms of contraception and medical procedures, like in vitro fertilization.

A separate legislative measure to grant personhood status to an embryo already passed the Oklahoma Senate this year and is pending in the House, but the author of that bill said the measure will not outlaw abortions or birth control.

Tulsa Republican Sen. Brian Crain said his bill is designed only to send a message that Oklahomans believe life begins at conception.

With a Republican-controlled Legislature and now a GOP governor in office, the Oklahoma Legislature has been pushing some of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country.

A new law restricting the use of abortion inducing drugs has been placed on hold pending a legal challenge.

Another requiring a pregnant woman to have an ultrasound performed and force a doctor to describe the fetus before an abortion can be performed was ruled unconstitutional on Wednesday by a district court judge in Oklahoma City.

A bill forcing abortion providers to offer to make the fetal heartbeat of the unborn child audible for a pregnant woman to hear is pending in the House, where it is expected to pass.

Copyright The Associated Press

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • With Friday’s decision by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to oppose a last-ditch GOP proposal to overhaul the Obama health law, Republicans have almost run out of time to make substantive changes to Obamacare by a September 30 deadline for action under a special expedited procedure that did not allow for a Senate filibuster, again dealing the President and GOP leaders a bitter defeat on an issue they’ve campaigned on for the last seven years. Here’s what can still happen over the next week – and in coming months on Capitol Hill. 1. There could still be a vote on Graham-Cassidy. While Sen. McCain has made clear that he won’t vote for the plan from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), it’s possible that the Senate could still go on the record on the matter. Aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this week that he planned to force a vote, and that could still happen, to clearly show who was for the plan, and who was not. But for now, it seems like the GOP will fail to get anything done on this signature campaign issue, with McCain, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) definitely against the plan – and two others, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) leaning against. I cannot in good conscience vote for Graham-Cassidy. A bill impacting so many lives deserves a bipartisan approach. https://t.co/2sDjhw6Era pic.twitter.com/30OWezQpLg — John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) September 22, 2017 2. It could re-start bipartisan health talks. Up until last week, when GOP interest suddenly surged in the Graham-Cassidy plan, there had been increasing efforts to find some kind of agreement between Senators in both parties on ways to make some short term improvements in the Obama health care system for those in the individual and non-group insurance market. Those efforts were put on the shelf in recent days, but now this development leaves an opening for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). I'm proud of you, John. It's time for the resumption of the bipartisan Alexander/Murray plan, and I'm ready to help however I can. https://t.co/xu2e3higf3 — John Kasich (@JohnKasich) September 22, 2017 3. GOP health care efforts are certainly not dead. Just because the Graham-Cassidy plan has seemingly fallen short, that doesn’t mean Republicans will give up on their plans to change the Obama health law. For the next fiscal year, the GOP wants to use the budget reconciliation process to pass something on tax cuts and tax reform. Well – there is no reason that they can’t also try to add a health care bill onto that measure as well. One Senate official told me exactly that a few weeks ago. So, this battle is not over. But waiting to do health care on next budget reconciliation bill would give CBO time to fully analyze #GrahamCassidy's impact — Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 22, 2017 4. Republicans just weren’t ready for this process. Maybe the biggest lesson from the after-action report on GOP health care bills over the last nine months is a simple one – Republicans were not ready with their own plan to replace the Obama health law, even though they had been talking about this for seven straight years. Ever since the law was signed by President Obama, Republicans had promised to repeal it, and do something different. As a slogan it sounded great – but as we saw in recent weeks, getting the exact details was something different. The GOP has had 7+ years to come up with a healthcare bill. They've also had a full majority for 8 months. And still nothing. Embarrassing! — Mitch Drabenstott (@mitchdwx) September 22, 2017 5. Democrats have also had 7 years to make improvements. Just as the GOP failed in rallying around a single plan, Democrats also didn’t exactly ring the bell in recent years on how best to improve the Obamacare system. Yes, they admit, things aren’t working perfectly, but they certainly haven’t been talking about what exactly should change, or might be changed. Could we see something different now that Graham-Cassidy seems to be dead? Or will Democrats still just sort of circle the wagons to protect President Obama’s top legislative accomplishment? This is the time for bipartisan action – but that’s easier said than done. McCain's advice for Congress: Republicans and Democrats must work together to improve health care. — Cary Weldy (@caryweldy) September 22, 2017
  • Former Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams was arrested in Texas on Tuesday on traffic warrants, records show. >> Read more trending news  Williams was pulled over for a traffic offense, then arrested on warrants, Austin police said. He is no longer in the Travis County Jail, records show.  Williams, who starred at the University of Texas and played seven seasons in the NFL, is currently a football analyst for ESPN's Longhorn Network. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1998 and was the second Longhorn to win college football’s top prize, and was also a two-time All-American. Earlier this year, Williams said he was racially profiled while walking through a neighborhood in Tyler. A man called 911 when he 'observed a black male, wearing all black, crouched down behind his wire fence,' and Tyler police stopped and searched Williams, according to media reports.  Williams was taken to the Travis County Jail 17 years ago, when he was playing for the New Orleans Saints, when he refused to sign a traffic ticket, according to previous media reports. 
  • A former Michigan health official testified Thursday that he started asking questions about bacteria in Flint’s water supply a year before the state publicly acknowledged an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Tim Becker, who was deputy director at the Department of Health and Human Services, acknowledged that the agency could have issued a public warning in January 2015. But it was 12 more months before the department and Gov. Rick Snyder said something publicly. Becker was the first witness at a key court hearing involving his former boss, department director Nick Lyon, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of an 85-year-old man and misconduct in office. A judge must decide whether there’s enough evidence to send him to trial. Lyon’s attorneys call the charges “baseless.” The attorney general’s office says a timely announcement about a Legionnaires’ outbreak in the Flint area in 2014-15 might have saved Robert Skidmore. He died of congestive heart failure, six months after he was treated for Legionnaires’.
  • Another day, another Facebook Hoax.  This time you may have seen people warning you on your Facebook feed that there’s a secret list of people following your posts. They’re supposedly not your friends, but complete strangers.  The posts then direct you to search “Following Me” in your Facebook account and there will be a list of names you won’t recognize, The Times Union reported. >> Read more trending news  The problem is, it is all a hoax that your Facebook friends are unknowingly perpetuating. This isn’t the first time a following hoax took root on social media. Snopes investigated a similar claim in January that people from “Facebook security” were paid to watch people on the platform.  Both are untrue, according to Snopes. So how can you find out how who really is following you? According to Facebook’s Help Center, you go to the right corner and select settings, then click public posts, then select friends or public next to who can follow me. 
  • The word “dotard” is not new, although it hasn’t been used lately in polite (or even impolite) conversation. Kim Jong-Un unearthed it during a speech he made Friday; translators used the word “dotard” in describing President Donald Trump. >> Read more trending news Dictionary.com defines “dotard” as, “a person, especially an old person, exhibiting a decline in mental faculties; a weak-minded or foolish old person.” Merriam-Webster cites the first known use of the word in the 14th century and notes it’s in the “bottom 30 percent of words” on its website. It defines dotard as “a person in his or her dotage.” >> Twitter abuzz after Kim calls Trump a “dotard” “Dotage” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.” According to the Ngram tool on Google, the word “dotard” peaked in 1823. William Shakespeare was a fan of the word. In “Much Ado About Nothing,” Leonato defends himself against Claudio and tells the soldier: “Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me. I speak not like a dotard nor a fool.” In “Taming of the Shrew,” Baptista commands that Vincentio be imprisoned, saying 'Away with the dotard; to jail with him.”The “Irish Monthly Magazine of Politics and Literature” from 1833 carries this sentence: “A father’s stern command resigned her to the arms of a dotard. …”The “Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction” from 1842 contains this sentence: “This old favourite, and ‘father of cheap literature,’ though advanced in years, is not cast off as a thing lacking in interest; a dotard in its second childhood; but, on the contrary, is now looked upon as a hoary-headed sage, abounding in humour. …”Dotard appears to be making a comeback, thanks to Kim.