July 4, 2012 in Nation/World

Ohio ‘personhood’ drive falls short

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio – An anti-abortion group in Ohio fell short Tuesday in its attempt to gather enough signatures to change the state constitution to declare that life begins when a human egg is fertilized.

Backers of the proposed constitutional amendment in Ohio and elsewhere hope to spark a legal challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that gave women a legal right to abortion.

The group had only collected about 30,000 of the roughly 385,000 signatures required for November ballots, Patrick Johnston, the director of Personhood Ohio, said Tuesday.

The group pledged to continue seeking signatures ahead of 2013, but the shortfall was another obstacle for what has become known as the “personhood” movement.

“I did not get enough (signatures) in the mail today,” Johnston said. “It’s going to take a little longer.”

Supporters fell short of the required number of signatures to qualify for the November ballots in Nevada and California. And in Oklahoma, the state’s highest court halted an amendment effort there to grant personhood rights to human embryos, saying the measure was unconstitutional.

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