Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she expects the courts to overturn Alabama’s draconian new abortion law, which almost entirely bans the procedure in the state, including for victims of rape and incest.
“That legislation is so extreme that I can’t imagine that the courts would sustain it,” Collins told NBC’s Frank Thorp on Wednesday. “I’m not going to try to predict court cases, but I cannot imagine that that law won’t be overturned.”
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed the nation’s strictest abortion bill into law on Wednesday, a day after the state’s Senate voted 25-6 to pass it. The law makes it a felony for doctors to perform abortion at any stage of pregnancy, except for in cases where the life of the pregnant woman is at risk.
“Obviously it’s not something I would ever vote for,” said Collins, one of just two Republicans in the Senate who publicly support abortion rights.
The law is set to take effect within six months, though Ivey acknowledged Wednesday that the ban may not be “enforceable” for the foreseeable future due to a series of anticipated legal challenges. She said she hopes the legislation will prompt the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that made abortion legal in all 50 states.
Americans who support abortion rights worry the Supreme Court’s shift to the right in October following Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation could have a disastrous effect on the landmark decision.
Collins faced intense backlash from Democrats and Mainers who support abortion rights after she voted to confirm Kavanaugh, despite multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him from the 1980s.
Collins, the most senior Republican woman in the Senate, was viewed as one of three swing votes during Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The others were Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a pro-abortion-rights Republican who voted “present,” and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the only Democrat to vote in favor of Kavanaugh.
President Donald Trump stated repeatedly that he would nominate Supreme Court justices with the intention of overturning Roe v. Wade. But Collins said she did not believe Kavanaugh would do so if the ruling or subsequent cases affirming it came before him.
Kavanaugh’s past comments suggest he does not believe abortion rights are guaranteed by the Constitution, though he testified before Congress last fall that he views Roe v. Wade as a “settled precedent.”
Maine Democrats and other members of Collins’ pro-abortion-rights constituency vowed to strengthen their efforts to oust her from the Senate in 2020 following Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
A Democratic PAC raised over $1 million for Collins’ potential Democratic challenger in just 24 hours after she announced her support for Kavanaugh.
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