Contact: Anne Newman                                                                                                                September 5, 2012

         Trinity Legal Center files brief in Personhood case at the Supreme Court

San Antonio – Trinity Legal Center (TLC) filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the
United States Supreme Court concerning the Oklahoma Personhood Ballot Initiative. The brief
addresses the issue of when life begins.

    In 1973, the Supreme Court said in Roe v. Wade that it did not need to resolve the difficult
question of when life begins. “Now almost 40 years later, objective scientific evidence
establishes with certainty when life begins – life begins at conception,” said Linda Schlueter,
President of Trinity Legal Center. “There is no controversy about biologic human development,”
she said.

    The Oklahoma ballot initiative defines a “person” as “any human being from the beginning of
the biological development of that human being to natural death.”

    “It is a universally accepted scientific fact that life begins at fertilization. There is no credible
opposition to this scientific fact,” said Dr. Maureen Condic, Professor of Neurobiology and
Anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine, who provided an Affidavit supporting
the amicus brief.  

    The Oklahoma Supreme Court summarily and preemptively held the ballot initiative
unconstitutional. It based its decision on the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in
Parenthood v. Casey
; however, the TLC brief asserts that the court misinterpreted and
misapplied the Casey decision.  

    The United States Supreme Court emphasized in Casey that women should have full and
accurate information to make an informed decision whether to carry her pregnancy to term or to
abort her unborn child because of the “devastating psychological consequences” of later
realizing that she did not have the information or know the truth.  

    “We agree,” Schlueter said “that women should have full and accurate information before
making such a life-changing decision.”

    The Court will take up consideration of the case on October 5th when it returns for the
October Term.

The Trinity Legal Center is a non-profit public-interest litigation organization. Linda
Schlueter wrote the only amicus brief of 50 filed that was cited by the U.S. Supreme
Court in the partial-birth abortion case (Gonzales v. Carhart).

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Trinity Legal Center Brief

What is Personhood?

“It is a universally
accepted scientific
fact that life begins
at fertilization.”
     - Dr. MaureenCondic   
  Prof., Neurobiology and
   Anatomy,  University of
 Utah School of Medicine
  Dr. Condic's Affidavit

   Ballot Measure     
If voters approve the Per-
sonhood ballot measure,
Art. 2, Sec. 2 of the Okla-
homa Constitution would
be amended to read as
“A ‘person’ as referred to
in Article 2, section 2 of
this constitution shall be
defined as any human
being from the beginning
of the biological develop-
ment of that human being
to natural death. The
inherent rights of such
person shall not be denied
without due process of
law and no person as
defined herein shall be
denied equal pro-tection
under the law due to age,
place of resident or
medical condition.”