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Personhood bill passes in Oklahoma Senate

The bill could outlaw abortion even in cases of rape.

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The U.S. Affordable Health Care Act passed a reform requiring all emergency contraception and birth control pills to be free of co-payments or other deductibles as of August 1, 2011. This is considered a major breakthrough in women's healthcare, but it has faced opposition from religious groups that say these preventatives make pregnancy seem like a disease. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Life is getting one step closer to beginning at conception, at least according to Oklahoma legislators. Oklahoma state senators passed a controversial "personhood" bill Wednesday that would give embryos constitutional rights from the moment of conception.

The Republican-controlled state Senate voted 34-8 to pass anti-abortion bill, Reuters reported. It will now go to the House, where pro-life Republicans heavily outnumber Democrats. Reuters noted that Oklahoma Republican Governor Mary Fallin is also likely to sign the bill, as she approved every anti-abortion bill that came to her desk last year.

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While no personhood laws exist yet in the United States, anti-abortion advocates are getting closer to making the bills become a reality in several states, the New York Daily News reported. Virginia's House of Delegates passed its own personhood bill earlier this week. 

If the bills pass, they could outlaw abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Certain forms of contraception, such as the morning after pill, could also violate personhood laws.

Earlier this month, Oklahoma state Senator Constance Johnson, a Democrat who opposes the bill, tried to add an amendment that would ban men from ejaculating anywhere besides the vagina. “A lot of people thought that I was being facetious with my amendment in committee," Johnson said, according to The Oklahoman.  "All we're asking for is for this conversation to include both individuals that are necessary to bring life about.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120217/personhood-bill-passes-oklahoma-senate