OKLAHOMA CITY (AP/CBS Houston) — Anti-abortion lawmakers vowed Wednesday to continue pushing for tighter restrictions in Oklahoma as hundreds of advocates flooded the halls of the state Capitol as part of a rally to urge lawmakers to pass more anti-abortion laws.

But one Democrat, in a seeming attempt to fight the measure, added an amendment to the bill stating that “every sperm is sacred,” according to Think Progress.

State Sen. Constance Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, added language which states that masturbation and sex acts other than vaginal intercourse could be considered detrimental to unborn children as abortion.

“[A]ny action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child,” the amendment states.

As for those who support the personhood movement, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin joined dozens of members of the House and Senate for a Rose Day rally in the House chamber in which lawmakers touted their anti-abortion credentials to the applause of rose-wielding abortion opponents who packed the House gallery.

Even as two previous abortion measures approved by the Republican-controlled Oklahoma Legislature remain bogged down amid court challenges, lawmakers this year want to further restrict a woman’s legal right to terminate a pregnancy. Among several bills being considered this year are measures granting “personhood” status to embryos and requiring women seeking an abortion to first listen to the heartbeat of a fetus. Another would prohibit the use of aborted human fetuses in food, despite the Senate author’s concession he’s unaware of any company using such a practice.

“For whatever reason, in recent years Oklahoma has had an abysmal record on reproductive rights and issues and has been engaged on a continuous assault on women’s health and rights, and it’s very disappointing,” said Stephanie Toti, a senior attorney at the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which has sued to stop two separate Oklahoma abortion laws from taking effect.

A bill passed two years ago requiring women seeking an abortion to first have an ultrasound performed and another approved last year restricting the use of abortion-inducing medications both have been temporarily blocked while the court considers legal challenges.

This year, two separate “personhood” measures have been introduced — one that would place the issue on the November ballot and another that would put into statute that life begins in Oklahoma once an egg has been fertilized.

“What I’m stating in the bill is that it’s the policy of the state of Oklahoma that life begins at conception,” said Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa.

Crain, an attorney, says he patterned the language after a similar measure approved in Missouri in 1986 that the U.S. Supreme Court later ruled was constitutional. He said his bill would not outlaw abortion or the use of certain birth control methods.

“Anyone that was to say this bill outlaw abortions or would say that this is going to make doctors criminally liable is ignoring what has been the hallmark of the pro-abortion movement since 1973, which is Roe versus Wade,” he said, referring to the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-health research organization that supports abortion rights, eight states already have enacted laws requiring abortion providers make available the sounds of a fetal heartbeat. Another 22 states are pushing some sort of effort to establish fetal personhood.

Tony Lauinger, chairman of Oklahomans for Life, said the ultimate goal of the personhood and fetal heartbeat bills is to save the lives of the unborn.

“We hope that as many lives can be saved as is possible to save, and not only does that benefit the child whose life is spared, but it benefits the mother who steps back from the irrevocable, lethal act of taking her child’s life,” Lauinger said.

But Crain’s bill, which was approved earlier this week in a Senate committee, already is prompting some doctors to express grave concerns about the chilling effect it could have on reproductive medical services.

“These are bills that have very vast and a plethora of unintended consequences,” said Dr. Eli Reshef, a reproductive endocrinologist and the medical director of the Bennett Fertility Institute at Integris Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City. “In vitro fertilization is the process where we take the sperm and the egg, put them together in a laboratory. All of a sudden in the lab now we’re stewards of persons?”

Reshef accused Crain and other Oklahoma lawmakers of “pandering to the extreme right” and said these types of bills contradict another goal of Republicans, which is fostering a pro-business environment in the state.

“A bill like this will not only be an embarrassment to the intellect of any Oklahoman, but it will have a potential impact about the image of the state, including its economic wellbeing,” Reshef said.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (40)
  1. Ann1411 says:

    As a Oklahoman I am saddened by the way the Oklahoma Taliban (extreme right) has taken over here. As a woman whose choses to NOT a abortion, I am against anyone of making or taking this choice for me. Shame on you Oklahoma for going back to the dark ages again.

    1. Everyone says:

      Your state is a joke. Vote these morons out.

  2. Matt says:

    I like how people think this guy is serious.

    Read between the lines. How do you revoke a bill with moderate support from both sides? You shift the focus extremely in one direction. This is a Democrat flipping the table in the super-conservative direction in order to drop favor for the bill.

    Seriously, this guy is smart.

    1. Horton says:

      It’s a woman.

      1. Zack says:

        Fine, this woman is smart.
        Clearly not the point of the post.

        And, to the Oklahoman Republicans, might I add a hearty “bazinga”

        Although they may be stupid enough to not see the satire…

    2. jon k. says:

      Smart? i don’t think so. More like trying to do things out of spite. Instead it will help make things even worse.

  3. Dean Smith says:

    well i live in England united Kingdom and i feel abit of monty python on board hear..what the hell is going over ther…..enjoy the public inforamtion video iam attaching xxxx

  4. Dean Smith says:

    “If a sperm is wasted Oklahoma gets Irate”Should be the lines in the song….

  5. Dean Smith says:

    This is about ,putting masterbation on the bill and i qoute–State Sen. Constance Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, added language which states that masturbation and sex acts other than vaginal intercourse could be considered detrimental to unborn children as abortion…please come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as far as the abortion issues..who am i to speak……i,am am not a woemn and feel maybey its down to the individual..but no one goes on about the loss of lifes through war services men/woemn and those who are innocent and also how the Big pharma takes many lifes each year..maybe ciongress should balence out ther values and principles if ther that concerned of human life……..

    1. DawnJacquelyn says:

      Hi Dean, I agree with you. That poster is simply repeating what he was taught all his life – that sex is forbidden except for the purpose of procreation. What a brainwashed dummy!

  6. DawnJacquelyn says:

    I can’t believe masturbation is now an issue…this guy is trying to make it one? He should keep his personal religious beliefs to himself!

    1. Disbelief... says:

      Even worse, this is coming from a WOMAN…. I sure appreciate her need to tell (and legislate) what men can and can’t do relative to what they can do with their semen….

      She has clearly shown her ability to show she is unfit for office…. She stands for life, liberty and the control of sperm….!

  7. partisan1776 says:

    they have long cold winters in oklahoma. what about a mans right to not support a child hes not ready for ?if a woman can decide to kill the child rather than raise ita man should be able to say i dont want it if she does then she should bear the cost.

  8. Dean Smith says:

    At the end of the day does it not come down to responsability!!!!!!!……if you look johnstons end of the issue yes its murder to them but if you look on the otherside will this not casue back street abortion…this is an open dilouge..but if you also have a goverment who are after your pensions and family support benifit/maternity…were does this stand……i agree life is life end of…but we seem as so called careing humans to accept life in one manner but not the other…i personal can not speak on this matter as i qouted before as iam not a!”women”and who gives me the right to over rule some one who is,next you will have people in court for masterbation..HANG ON IS THIS NOT ANOTHER FORM OF SOCIAL CONTROL…..argghhhh audlux huxley and george owell were right from the begging..have agood sunday everyone…Dean xxxx

  9. JK says:

    I would love to know WHICH bills they are actually referring to! Shouldn’t a journalist know how to properly cite sources?

  10. Warren G. Richards says:

    Then is it not okay if people swallow since oral sex is tantamount to abortions? Is that how we should interpret that news? I’m just verifying.

    Take care and hang in there if you can, everyone.

    Your friend,


    Warren G. Richards
    Mesa AZ

  11. JimBob says:

    I came to this article wondering what the h has gone wrong in Oklahoma — have they lost their minds completely? But I see from the comments it’s just a politician that’s lost it — the rest of you seem pretty sane.


    Cheers, from California

  12. jon k. says:

    Wow, they have totally fu#$ing lost it! No one is going to tell me what to do or take my rights away! Try it!

  13. Disbelief... says:

    Thank you GOD, JR…

    This might qualify for the silliest piece of proposed legislation EVER proposed…. It is even MORE sad that this clueless woman is SERIOUS!

    Heaven help her husband – that is if she was ever successful enough to TRAP a biological sperm producer (i.e. Husband or Partner) that she can tell what to do with his body….

    How about if the entire nation has a chance at a RE-VOTE for her office….She clearly doesn’t know what her job is….. FRIGHTENING, at the very least, that people like this congresswoman roam the streets without being incarcerated….!

    1. IdoNotThinkItMeansWhatYouThinkItMeans says:

      The fact that you think she is serious is FRIGHTENING.

      “that she can tell what to do with his body….”

      And yet, this is *exactly* what our government is trying to to do the women of our country. Are you as up in arms about that as you are about the possibility that men might not be able to jerk off anymore?

      1. jon k. says:

        That fact that you are naive enough to believe that she couldn’t be serious is just as frightening even more.

        When it comes to proposed laws, I don’t scr.ew around, I take it all at face value. Any person who is sarcastic or isn’t serious about the laws they propose, shouldn’t even be in office.

  14. AbleToReadBetweenTheLines says:

    Are most of the previous commenters completely clueless? She does not believe that men should be told what they can and can’t do with their bodies! She believes that women should not be told what they can and can’t do with their bodies. How is that not obvious? Are you really that dense? Do you not get that her move is a reaction to bill that strips women of the their constitutional right to privacy. How does it feel to be in the position that we women have been in for years, my dear men?
    One can only hope that this effectively ends the progression of this nonsense.

  15. OhTheIrony says:

    Ha! How can any of you miss the irony of men ranting over a woman trying to control their bodies. THAT WAS THE POINT!!! Controlling YOUR sperm is the next logical step in this equation gentlemen. So, back off of our uterus’s and we’ll back off your sperm. It’s that simple. We don’t want lawmakers controlling our bodies, and you don’t want them controlling yours.

    1. AbleToReadBetweenTheLines says:

      Yes! Thank you.

      It sucks, doesn’t it?

  16. Ironyisironic says:

    Hilarious how many think she actually wants this law. That point just flew right over your collective heads.

  17. Stephen McDow says:

    Do you believe that women are equal to men and have individual choices given to them by the US Constitution? Then support this petition and tell local, state, and federal leaders that women don’t need a governmental daddy, they need health rights! We must protect health rights for every American citizen! http://www.change.org/petitions/whos-your-daddy-not-the-government-we-dont-need-fetus-personhood-legislation

  18. Azureblue says:

    Oh….I see, it’s ok for the government to dictate to women and control their choices for their bodies and lives, but when the precious sperm is the issue there is suddenly a radical shift towards freedom of choice. Interesting but not surprising!
    One other thing, an embryo is a very very small bundle of cells – it is NOT a child, so please stop using the terminology of ‘killing babies or children”.
    Is this really 2012?

  19. IdoNotThinkItMeansWhatYouThinkItMeans says:

    Thank you! I was totally scratching my head that people did not “get it”. I’m guessing folks really *are* that dense.

    And the shouts of, “This woman is crazy! She can’t tell me what to do with my body!” Are priceless.

    1. IdoNotThinkItMeansWhatYouThinkItMeans says:

      This was in response to AbleToReadBetweenTheLines…there seems to be a glitch in the website.

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