Two conservative states — South Carolina and Nebraska — failed to pass their respective abortion bans by a single vote on Thursday, reports The Associated Press. South Carolina had proposed a near-total abortion ban while Nebraska had proposed a six-week ban. Both votes failed and abortion remains legal up to 22 weeks in both states, per The Washington Post.
In both instances, certain Republican lawmakers were responsible for preventing passage. South Carolina state Sen. Sandy Senn (R) remarked that abortion laws "have always been, each and every one of them, about control — plain and simple. And in the Senate, the males have all the control." That said, while a near-total ban failed, a proposed six-week abortion ban has already passed the state Senate.
In Nebraska, the decision was swayed by the 80-year-old Merv Riepe, a long-time Republican state senator. Following the vote, Riepe told the Flatwater Free Press: "No group came to me, asking me to do this. This is of my own beliefs, my own commitments."
All in all, the results are a victory for pro-choice advocates. "This really shows that even in red states winning is still possible," Ianthe Metzger of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund told the Post. "We do know that banning abortion is unpopular." Currently, there are 14 states with total abortion bans and 8 states whose bans were blocked by courts.