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Anti-abortion bills fail to pass in Nebraska, South Carolina

Republicans in both state legislatures voted against these anti-abortion bills.

Published: April 28, 2023 12:56pm

Updated: April 28, 2023 12:58pm

GOP-controlled legislatures in South Carolina and Nebraska failed on Thursday to pass anti-abortion legislation. 

The "Heartbeat Act" in Nebraska would have banned most abortions after six weeks with exceptions including rape, incest and the life of the mother.

The measured stalled in the state legislature and a vote to overcome a filibuster of the bill failed by a vote of 32-15. Two senators abstained from voting. 

GOP state Sen. Merv Riepe called for the bill to be reconsidered and proposed an amendment to move the ban to 12 weeks instead of six weeks. The amendment did not receive a vote. 

“It is unacceptable for senators to be present not voting on such a momentous vote," Nebraska GOP Gov. Jim Pillen said in a statement. “I call on Senator Merv Riepe to make a motion to reconsider and stand by the commitments to life he has made in the past.”

As of now, Nebraska prohibits the majority of abortions past 20 weeks. 

The South Carolina state Senate also failed to pass the "Human Life Protection Act," which would have banned abortions in the state. It failed in a 22-21 vote with three Republicans voting against it. 

The bill will be moved to next year’s legislative session, which starts in January.

"Once a woman became pregnant for any reason, she would now become property of the state of South Carolina if the ‘Human Life Protection Act’ were [to] come into law," Republican state Sen. Katrina Frye Shealy said on the Senate floor before voting against the bill.

"She could no longer make decisions on her own or at the advice of her well-trained doctor," she continued. "Every female, regardless of her age, would suddenly become subject to the power of a code book regarding her health."

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