Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican senator from Illinois, has broken from his fellow GOP leaders and come out in favor of the Supreme Court's decision on Monday to strike down Texas's pro-life HB2 legislation. The bill, in part, requires abortion clinics to be held to the same standards as nearby medical facilities. The regulation would have shuttered dozens of the state's abortion facilities. According to Kirk, it's good news they are staying open for business.
In celebrating the court's decision, Kirk aligns himself with radical pro-abortion activists like former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, who heralded Monday's "incredible news" on Twitter. President Obama also applauded the result.
Obama: "I am pleased to see the Supreme Court protect women's rights and health today" pic.twitter.com/9S40O2uHjb— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 27, 2016
Pro-life groups and conservative leaders, however, have issued statement after statement denouncing the SCOTUS ruling as one that will endanger women. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), for instance, explained why the decision is a dangerous one for women.
"The Supreme Court's ruling is a disappointment for millions of pro-life Americans who understand that being pro-life is about protecting babies and their mothers. Both sides of the abortion debate should have been able to agree that sanitary conditions and hospital admitting privileges are not controversial."
"When abortion facilities are not held to the same standards as other facilities, women's lives are endangered," added the Family Research Council.
Kirk has taken other positions that distance him from conservatives, such as favoring gay marriage. His leftist positions on key issues may be due to the fact he is fighting for his seat in deep blue Illinois and currently polling behind Rep. Tammy Duckworth by an average of six points.