Senator Collins comes under fire after SCOTUS signals support for restrictive abortion ban

Senator Collins keeps saying she supports women's rights

Published December 3, 2021 5:50PM (EST)

Susan Collins and Brett Kavanaugh (Getty Images/Salon)
Susan Collins and Brett Kavanaugh (Getty Images/Salon)

Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, is once again facing scrutiny for her support of Donald Trump's nominees to the Supreme Court in light of this week's oral arguments in case that threatens the constitutional protection of abortion.

Promoting the bill she co-authored with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, which had just passed into law by President Biden this week, Collins was slammed by critics. 

"The U.S. has an unacceptably high maternal mortality rate w/ stark racial disparities, & this crisis impacts women veterans as well." she wrote on Twitter, "A bill @SenDuckworth & I authored in the Senate aims to change this. Today, @POTUS signed it into law, which will improve veterans' maternal care."

Instead of praise, Collins was flooded with mention of her past support for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. 

RELATED: Commentators blast Susan Collins for supporting Brett Kavanaugh

"You picked a bad day to express your "concern" about women and maternal mortality," one user responded, "Your "concern" appears it will lead to increases in maternal mortality in Mississippi."

Collins previously said that she did not believe Kavanaugh would overturn Roe v. Wade, as she said he considered the matter to be "settled law." Asked on Thursday whether or not she believed that Kavanagh still sees Roe as settled law following his line of questioning during this week's oral arguments in a case about Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban, Collins demurred and simply said, "I think we all need to wait and see what the final decision is." 

RELATED: Collins on Kavanaugh's abortion vote: "There is a deliberate misreading of what he actually wrote"

After Judge Kavanaugh had expressed support for a similarly restrictive anti-abortion law in Louisiana, Collins told CNN that Kavanaugh had assured her during his confirmation process that the landmark opinion was safe.

"He said under oath many times, as well as to me personally many times, that he considers Roe to be 'precedent upon precedent,' because it had been reaffirmed in the Casey v. Planned Parenthood case." she said. 

RELATED: Susan Collins still into Brett Kavanaugh, defends his precedent-shattering anti-choice vote

When that law was struck down by the court, with Kavanaugh in the minority supporting it being upheld, Senator Collins again said that his vote was "no indication in his dissenting opinion that he supports overturning Roe."

If Mississippi's abortion restrictions are upheld by the Supreme Court, it seems clear that abortion will become a state issue once again. Mississippi currently has only one licensed abortion facility in the state, leaving that healthcare access inaccessible to thousands of women.

RELATED: Collins calls Supreme Court decision on Texas abortion ban "extreme," stays mum on Kavanaugh support

By Trish Rooney

Trish Rooney is an Editorial Intern with Salon and a graduate journalism student at New York University. Follow her on Twitter @trishroooney.

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Brett Kavanaugh Joe Biden Susan Collins