Hundreds gather in front of Oklahoma's capitol to protest pro-life bill

TULSA - Hundreds of men and women protested at the capitol this afternoon. They fear a bill would limit their reproductive rights.

"Oklahoma! Leading the way... backwards," State Senator Connie Johnson said. Instead of taking a lunch break Tuesday, Johnson stood among a large crowd gathered at the capitol.

They gathered in protest of Senate Bill 1433, known as The Personhood Act.

Many in the crowd carried signs, shoes - to visualize the phrase "barefoot and pregnant" - and even children.

Colleen McCarty is pregnant and was in the crowd. McCarty said being pregnant does not stop her from being against abortion because every mother has a choice.

Heather Hall is one of the organizers of the rally.

"This one may not do anything specifically but it paves the way for others." she said.

Hall believes it will limit rights to birth control, in vitro fertilization, and abortion.

"Senators and representatives, you want to legislate Personhood and I think that's a fantastic idea! Let's hand "person" signs on the 10,000 kids currently in state foster care," protester Lauren Zuniga said.

While protesters are down stairs at the capitol, just four floors up is the chair of Oklahomans For Life, Tony Lauinger.

He is the man who pushed Tulsa Senator Brian Crain to write the bill. "The fact that abortion is not a victimless act is the bottom line for us," Lauinger said.

He says this same policy has been in place in Missouri since 1989.

Lauinger acknowledges they are trying to reverse Roe vs. Wade and this is the first step to giving an unborn child rights.

"Three hundred babies are killed in this country everyday. That's more victims than the 911 attacks," he said. "We believe something is broke and needs to be fixed."

Senate Bill 1433 cleared the Senate. Its first reading in house was Feb. 22.

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