South Carolina’s state legislature on Tuesday voted in favor of banning abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy, despite a fierce political battle against the text by the only five women in the state senate, including Republicans.

The US right-wing faction had repeatedly tried to pass the controversial bill through the upper house of this southeastern US state, whose members are overwhelmingly male and white.

But she ran into stubborn resistance from five female senators. The three of them, despite being Republicans, did not hesitate to defy the party line.

During the debate, Republican Sandy Sheen accused her male colleagues of choosing to “symbolically slap women” with their obsession with the abortion issue.

But finally yesterday the senators who oppose abortion managed to collect the number of votes required to pass the measure.

By definition, it will have a huge impact on access to abortion: by the sixth week of pregnancy, many – if not most – women do not yet know they are pregnant.

To become law, the text remains to be signed by Republican Governor Henry McMaster. As for the intentions of the latter, however, there is not so much a mystery.

“I look forward to signing this text so that it becomes law as soon as possible,” he assured via Twitter, judging that with the controversial law his state will “protect more innocent lives.”

In June 2022, the Supreme Court struck down constitutional protections for the right to abortion nationwide, leaving states with discretion to legislate on the issue. Since then, about fifteen have banned it in their territory.

South Carolina, surrounded by states where abortion was prohibited, had become an asylum for women who wanted to undergo operations of that nature. State Republicans turned that very fact into an argument for banning it.

The state has “turned into the abortion capital of the Southeast,” Senator Shane Massey, for example, said.

For the same reasons, the decision was condemned by organizations that defend the right to abortion.

“This is a devastating decision for the people of South Carolina and the entire region where access to abortion for patients continues to shrink,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, the president of the powerful family planning organization Planned Parenthood.

He added that South Carolina’s politicians “didn’t say the last word,” promising legal action: “See you in court.”