Susan Collins Going To Have Her Own Roe V. Wade Law, The Best Roe V. Wade Law, Everyone Thank Susan Collins!
Susan Collins, once again, is concerned.
She is concerned, this time, about the terrible Texas anti-choice law that the Supreme Court allowed to go into effect last month that will allow anyone to sue anyone they suspect of having been involved with an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. (Actually, due to the vagaries of how "pregnancy" is counted, more like four weeks of pregnancy, or two weeks after your first missed period, if your periods are extremely regular.) Alas, she's not concerned enough to say she was wrong to insist that Brett Kavanaugh, if elevated to the Supreme Court, would never vote to repeal Roe v. Wade because of how very much he cares about precedent.
She also wasn't concerned enough to support Rep. Judy Chu's Women's Health Protection Act, which would codify Roe and make it law, or even concerned enough not to lie about what was in it. Her stated concern there was that it would overrule the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (it doesn't) and require people who did not want to perform abortions to perform abortions, which is notably not a thing anyone is asking anyone to do.
Reporting on the Women's Marches this weekend, which were focused on supporting reproductive rights, the AP noted that Collins went to a separate event, where she shared her opposition to the Texas bill and announced that she and three bipartisan friends — whom she can't name and you don't know them anyway because they go to a different school — would be working on their own legislation that would codify Roe in a way that she finds acceptable.
At an unrelated event in Maine, Republican Sen. Susan Collins called the Texas law "extreme, inhumane and unconstitutional" and said she's working to make Roe v. Wade the "law of the land."
She said she's working with two Democrats and another Republican, and they're "vetting" the language of their bill. Collins declined to identify her colleagues, but said the legislation will be introduced soon.
Oh sure, it will be introduced soon. Unless it is busy with its modeling career in Canada (you know how these things are).
This is not a situation we would be in right now without Susan Collins, the great pro-choice hope of the Right, who voted for Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh — both of whom voted to let Texas's law stand while they figure out if it's constitutional or not — after swearing she wouldn't vote for any Supreme Court nominees hostile to Roe. (She did in fact vote against confirming Amy Coney Barrett, guess even she could see the "I respect precedent" duplicity there.)
Collins, in fact, defended her vote for Kavanaugh after the law went into effect last month, claiming that those who saw this as yet another sign that he would oppose abortion rights just didn't read the material.
"People ought to read what the decision actually said. It said there's serious constitutional and procedural issues which clearly the court is going to take up," Collins said. "I think we need to wait and see what happens."
Do we though? If Kavanaugh cared so very much about this precedent, it sure is weird that he decided to leave reproductive rights in Texas in limbo until the Supreme Court can figure out how to address the law.
Perhaps someday, Kavanaugh will vote against overturning Roe. Perhaps someday Susan Collins's "concern" will result in something good happening or something bad not happening. Perhaps I will become Miss America and bring about world peace. Anything can happen, but some things are more likely to happen than others.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse