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The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a resolution Monday declaring abortion to be murder and criticizing the U.S. Supreme Court for decisions that have allowed women to seek elective abortions.
The resolution, passed on a voice vote without any debate, carries no force of law. But it takes the remarkable step of specifically accusing the Supreme Court of “overstepp[ing] its authority and jurisdiction” in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, two landmark decisions that protected a woman’s right to seek an abortion.
The measure calls on public officials to “stop the murder of innocent unborn children by abortion.” It also orders the Oklahoma Supreme Court to stay out of any future cases involving state abortion law.
Oklahoma has already enacted strict rules aimed at limiting abortions performed in the state.
A woman seeking an abortion must undergo counseling and wait 72 hours before getting an abortion. Health insurance plans offered under the Affordable Care Act may only cover abortions performed if the mother’s life is in danger. Parents of minors seeking abortions must be notified before the procedure takes place. And abortions performed after 20 weeks are banned unless the woman’s life is at risk.
There are only five medical facilities that provide abortion services in Oklahoma, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion rights group that tracks state laws.
Anti-abortion groups have helped shepherd new restrictions through state legislatures this year in Kentucky and Iowa. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a 20-week abortion ban into law late last year, and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) is considering a similar ban passed by the legislature last week.
Pro-abortion rights groups are exploring their legal options in several states, a step that some anti-abortion groups welcome. Those groups say they hope to pass new, more restrictive laws that will create a lawsuit that could make it to the Supreme Court, where they hope justices will reconsider the Roe and Casey decisions.