Pro-Choice Senator Will Not Vote For Democrats’ Abortion Rights Legislation

Posted: May 06, 2022 4:30 PM
Pro-Choice Senator Will Not Vote For Democrats’ Abortion Rights Legislation

Source: Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Pro-abortion Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who represents Maine, said on Thursday that she will not support a measure pushed by Democrats that would create a “statutory” right to abortion. 

Outside the United States Capitol, Collins told reporters that the legislation, the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), does not protect hospitals with a religious affiliation from performing abortions.

“It [the legislation] supersedes all other federal and state laws, including the conscience protections that are in the Affordable Care Act,” Collins told reporters at Capitol Hill on Thursday, The Washington Post covered. She added that the legislation “doesn’t protect the right of a Catholic hospital to not perform abortions. That right has been enshrined in law for a long time.”

The Post added that 60 senators would need to vote to pass the legislation to overcome a filibuster. Sen. Joe Machin, a Democrat from West Virginia, is pro-life. Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), voted against WHPA in February, though they both support abortion.

Collins’ comments came after a draft opinion from the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked and published by Politico. In the draft opinion, penned by Justice Samuel Alito, the Justices voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. There is an ongoing investigation to locate the leak of the opinion.

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In December, the day after Dobbs oral arguments, I covered how Collins told reporters she supports passing legislation to codify Roe into law, but believes that WHPA goes too far. 

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Collins said, "I support codifying Roe. Unfortunately the bill … goes way beyond that.” Collins continued, explaining that she found parts of the WHPA’s language "extreme."