GOP Sen. Susan Collins Criticized After Kavanaugh Votes Against Abortion Rights Case
The 5-4 decision was the first case concerning reproductive rights under the Trump administration. Both of President Donald Trump‘s Supreme Court picks, Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch voted to uphold a Louisiana law that required doctors performing abortion procedures to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic.
The court ruled that the law was unconstitutional because it placed an “undue burden” on those seeking abortions, particularly since Louisiana has a mandatory waiting period between the time of the initial consultation to the procedure.
Collins faced intense scrutiny during Kavanaugh’s confirmation in October 2018, which was accompanied by televised hearings and sexual assault allegations.
Many pro-choice advocates feared Kavanaugh would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, which made abortion a constitutional right, but Collins cast the deciding vote after a meeting in which Kavanaugh called the decision “settled law.”
In a statement, Collins said she supported the court’s decision and encouraged people against “reading too much” into the decision.
“I agree with the Supreme Court’s decision in June Medical, which recognizes the burden that the Louisiana statute could impose,” Collins said.
“Some have tried to suggest that this opinion is an indication of how certain justices would vote on the question of whether abortion will remain legal,” she continued. “That is reading too much into this specific decision. As Justice Gorsuch noted, ‘In truth, Roe v. Wade is not even at issue here.’ And while Justice Kavanaugh called for additional fact finding in this case, he gave no indication in his dissenting opinion that he supports overturning Roe.”