Friday Hoyden: Constance Johnson

Constance Johnson, Democrat senator for Oklahoma and author of the "Spilled Semen"amendment to the Oklahoma "Personhood"bill

Women’s reproductive rights are under threat everywhere in the US. (Check out this recent story; Can the US not just admit they aren’t a secular modern nation-state any longer, but a de facto theocracy?) In the state of Oklahoma, the “Personhood Bill” is aimed not only at abortion, but at some forms of contraception.

The concept of “personhood” defines human life as beginning at the moment of conception and, in the case of Oklahoma’s pending Senate Bill 1433, says that the resulting fetus “at every stage of development (has) all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state.” If Senate Bill 1433 were to become law, all forms of abortion and some forms of contraception would be considered murder and therefore illegal.

Constance Johnson, Democrat senator for Oklahoma’s 48th district, had had enough. She proposed an amendment of her own.

Provided, however, any 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.

Senator Johnson says:

As a woman and a 31-year veteran of the legislative process in Oklahoma, I am increasingly offended by state law trends that solely focus on the female’s role in the reproductive process. With Oklahoma’s new, never-before-experienced Republican majority, we are seeing enactment of more and more measures that adversely affect women and their rights to access safe medical procedures when making reproductive healthcare decisions.

My action to amend the so-called “Personhood” bill – SB 1433, introduced by Senator Brian Crain (Republican, Tulsa) – represents the culmination of my and many other Oklahomans’ frustration regarding the ridiculousness of our reproductive policy initiatives in Oklahoma. I have received overwhelmingly positive responses from men and women in Oklahoma – and worldwide. The Personhood bill would potentially allow governmental intrusion into families’ personal lives by policing what happens to a woman’s eggs without any similar thought to what happens to a man’s sperm.

My amendment seeks to draw attention to the absurdity, duplicity and lack of balance inherent in the policies of this state in regard to women.

Sr. Johnson’s bill has been withdrawn, but she has helped to raise awareness of the war on women and girls being conducted by State governments in the US – with bonus LULZ at the expense of the religious Right who think up these loopy laws.

Categories: gender & feminism, Politics

Tags: , , ,

4 replies

  1. The only thing which could have made this amendment any better is a choir singing “Every Sperm Is Sacred” sitting in the public gallery.

  2. When returning to Session, the first bill The Senate focuses on is, wouldn’t you know it…a woman’s uterus and a man’s sperm!!!! (Oh yeah…the unborn fetus…”personhood”…so they want you to believe!) Please, Senator Johnson, you have my prayers and blessings to speak out loud and clear in this never ending battle to defend the rights of women, contraception, prevent unplanned pregnancy, provide safe measures for women’s personal health issues…no one mentions “coathanger abortions” anymore…a reality no one wants to even imagine existed…maybe still exists? When women are pushed to the edge!

  3. Awesome new Hoyden, thank you Helen for nominating her.

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