Nebraska, South Carolina abortion bans fail News
Janni Rye, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Nebraska, South Carolina abortion bans fail

Abortion bans in Nebraska and South Carolina Thursday failed to pass state legislatures.

Legislative Bill 626, known as the Nebraska Heartbeat Act, would have banned doctors from performing abortions after detecting a fetal heartbeat, with exceptions for a medical energy, an ectopic pregnancy, sexual assault, or incest. A fetal heartbeat typically occurs during the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy, with those frequently finding out they are pregnant around the same, leaving them unable to receive abortion care. The bill failed to pass the state’s single legislative house after the legislators did not meet the votes to impose cloture. Cloture is necessary to end the debate on a bill and allow the legislative body to perform a final vote. Nebraska law requires 33 votes to invoke cloture, with Thursday’s vote failing by a single vote. Currently, Nebraska bans abortions after 20 weeks with exceptions for the health of the fetus and mother.

South Carolina’s House Bill 3774, called the Human Life Protection Act, sought to ban abortions at conception with exceptions for rape or incest during the first trimester, the health of the mother, and fatal fetal abnormalities. This bill also failed after the state’s senate failed to reach a cloture vote. The South Carolina House voted in February to advance the bill to the Senate with a 77 to 31 vote. Abortions will remain banned in the state after 22 weeks of pregnancy.

On Monday, North Dakota enacted one of the nation’s strictest abortion bans with exceptions only in the instances of incest, abuse, or to protect the life and health of the mother.