South Carolina senators rejected a bill that would have banned nearly all abortions in a conservative state that has increasingly served patients across a region where Republican officials have otherwise curtailed access.
A 22-21 vote Thursday marks the third time a near-total abortion ban has failed in the Republican-led chamber since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last summer. Six Republicans helped block motions to end debate and defeated any chance the bill passes this year.
Republican Sen. Sandy Senn criticized Majority Leader Shane Massey for repeatedly “taking us off a cliff on abortion.”
The chamber’s five women filibustered the proposal in speeches highlighting the Senate’s male majority that they criticized for pushing debates on abortion over other pressing issues.
“Just as rape is about power and control, so is this total ban. Those who continue to push legislation like this are raping us again with their indifference, violating us again with their righteous indignation, taunting us again with their insatiable need to play God while they continue to pass laws that are ungodly.”
-Independent Sen. Mia McLeod said.