Critics on Twitter are piling on Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) over her past strident defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh against what she seemed to characterize as a preposterous idea that he would overturn or undermine Roe v. Wade.
Now the conservatives on the high court have voted 5-4 to not take any immediate action to block the most restrictive and intimidating anti-abortion law in the nation, which just went into effect in Texas.
The new law prohibits all abortions — even in cases of rape or incest — after six weeks of pregnancy, before many individuals would know they’re pregnant. In effect, the law bans abortions for most women who can’t afford to travel to another state to access the procedure.
“Remember when Susan Collins said she was convinced that Brett Kavanaugh believed a woman’s right to choose was ‘settled law?’” asked horror author Stephen King on Twitter on Thursday. “She was wrong. Women in Texas must pay the price for her gullibility.”
Collins — who claims she supports reproductive freedom for women — said three years ago, after a face-to-face meeting with the then-Supreme Court nominee, that Kavanaugh had absolutely assured her he considered Roe v. Wade “settled law.”
She later boasted on the House floor of his record of “judicial independence” and backed his rise to the Supreme Court in an extremely tight 50-48 Senate confirmation vote.
Collins almost seemed to find it amusing that women would be concerned about threats to their reproductive rights as more conservative justices like Kavanaugh — who was accused in testimony at his 2018 confirmation hearings of sexual assault during high school — joined the Supreme Court.
Then on Thursday, Collins issued a statement about how upset she was about the Texas law — and how disappointed she was in the Supreme Court’s decision not to take any immediate action, essentially supporting a law that on its face appears blatantly unconstitutional.
“The Texas law is extreme and harmful,” she said in a statement. “I oppose the Court’s decision to allow the law to remain in effect for now while ... underlying constitutional and procedural questions are litigated.”
Now Collins’s actions “have led us to the point where our bodily autonomy and foundational rights are at risk, and where pregnant Texans risk a gun-toting bounty hunter coming after them and their families for having an abortion,” Marie Follayttar, director and co-founder of Mainers for Accountable Leadership, told The Washington Post.
Under the Texas law, anti-abortion vigilantes can sue doctors, nurses, even friends who drive someone to an appointment for “aiding or abetting” abortion care — and be rewarded with at least $10,000 if they win their case.
“I told you so” concerning Kavanaugh was cold comfort to Collins’s critics.