BY World's Editorials Writers
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
5/01/12 at 3:57 AM
An official with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma says that organization was not involved in "lobbying tactics and vote tracking threatened by Oklahomans for Life."
Brian Hobbs, communications director for BGCO, said a Saturday Tulsa World editorial implied that the convention was a participant in those activities.
Officials with Oklahomans for Life, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and other religious leaders held a news conference Tuesday in the wake of House leaders' refusal to hear a bill that would declare that "personhood" begins at conception. The bill has generated fierce debate on both sides of the issue.
The Senate already had passed the bill. Its fate is uncertain now that the House has refused to take it up.
Kevin Calvey, identified as Oklahomans for Life's vice chairman, said House members who did not vote in favor of advancing the bill would be viewed as casting pro-abortion votes. He later backed off that threat after House leaders objected to the characterization.
In an emailed statement, Hobbs said: "While we have worked with OFL in the past and on this personhood issue, we do not lobby and were not partners in that fashion. There may have been a false impression from our press conference at the Capitol last week that we were part of the said tactics. Oklahomans for Life itself, however, has clarified that neither the BGCO nor any other groups that were present at the conference, such as the Archdiocese of Tulsa, lobby and that we are not to be considered part of that."