Republicans have to get real about abortion to win in 2024

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For Republicans, the fight over abortion is a matter of conscience; it is also quickly becoming a matter of survival. 

In recent days, Nebraska attempted to pass a law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, at which point a heartbeat can normally be detected. The legislature moved to end a filibuster and allow a vote on the so-called “heartbeat” measure; the move, and the strict limits, failed by one vote. The holdout, an octogenarian Republican named Merv Riepe, argued for a 12-week limit, allowing women more time to realize they are pregnant and to make a difficult choice.

It was the second attempt in two years to tighten Nebraska’s abortion laws, and the second failure. Since 2010, abortions have been legal in the state up to the 20th week of pregnancy. 

State Sen. Merv Riepe ponders before voting on a bill to ban abortions after about six weeks on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at the state Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Larry Robinson/Lincoln Journal Star via AP)

South Carolina, too, failed to pass a near-total ban on abortions (for the third time this year), thanks to a multi-day filibuster carried out by the state

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