(Washington) Unable to pass texts on Thursday drastically limiting access to abortion in two conservative American states, the Republicans are increasingly divided on the very divisive question of the right to abortion, a central subject before the presidential election in 2024.

The subject is brandished both by the most conservative Republicans and by the administration of President Joe Biden, which positions itself as a defender of this right.

If the Democrats intend to capitalize on this subject to remobilize their electoral base, the conservative Republicans are advancing on their side to restrict access to abortion or even ban it, after the abolition last June by the very conservative Supreme Court of the guarantee constitutional to abort.

But faced with the hostility of many voters, worried about seeing their personal freedoms curtailed by such provisions, conservatives are reviewing their position.

In South Carolina and Nebraska – two states with a Republican majority – Republican elected officials opposed their own camp on Thursday, thus preventing the Republican Party from passing texts providing in one case for an almost total ban on abortion and in the other a restriction of voluntary termination of pregnancy to six weeks.

This was the third attempt by Republicans in South Carolina to drastically restrict access to this right since the reversal of the Supreme Court.

“Some of you follow your leaders like sheep when it comes to abortion,” South Carolina Senator Sandy Senn quipped during a pre-vote debate, noting that out of 46 senators, only 5 are women.

These five senators, including three Republicans, defeated the vote restricting abortion with fiery speeches.

“It’s the only thing we can do when all of you men in this assembly keep symbolically slapping women by raising the issue of abortion over and over again,” the senator said.

In Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska, the failure of the vote to restrict abortion to six weeks provoked strong reactions, but the cheers of dozens of pro-abortion rights activists took over.

Senator Merv Riepe, who had co-sponsored the bill, ultimately did not support his own text after taking into account that at six weeks many women do not yet know whether or not they are pregnant. .

“In an ideal world, every child would have the opportunity to live and have a fulfilling life,” the former hospital administrator said, according to the local Senate report.

“But we must recognize that we do not live in a utopian society and we face challenges that make it difficult to achieve this ideal,” he added.

For Scout Richters of the powerful ACLU civil rights group in Nebraska, this vote is a sign that the majority of the people of the state are in favor of the right to abortion and therefore that “the vote reflects reality”.

According to polls, a comfortable majority of Americans think abortion should be legal in most cases. About half of the states have measures in place to protect access.

The Republicans had declared victory after the decision of the very conservative Supreme Court of the United States to dynamite the right to abortion last June.

They had in the process enacted bans or strict restrictions in 19 states.

But the party has since struggled to position itself on the high-stakes issue and was “punished” in midterm elections last year, while anti-abortion provisions were voted down in a referendum in Kansas and Kentucky, two states with a vote yet largely won over to the right.

“We know that the majority of Americans agree that abortion should be accessible, affordable and available,” said Morgan Hopkins, president of the pro-abortion organization All Action All Above Fund.

This will “continue to be a key issue for voters…anti-abortion politicians have overdone it and now voters are clear: abortion rights justice cannot wait,” she said. insisted.