U.S. Sen. Susan Collins was a part of a bipartisan group that launched textual content of a invoice on Monday that will codify federal abortion-rights protections that had been thrown out in June by the conservative-led Supreme Courtroom.
The brand new measure emerged from talks between the Maine Republican and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, after Collins joined all Republicans and one Democrat in Could to dam a extra sweeping abortion-rights invoice superior by Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-New York.
It stays a poor wager for passage due to the 60-vote filibuster threshold that Collins, one of many uncommon Republican backers of abortion rights, and different key senators are unwilling to interrupt. Slim majority passage of the measure within the 50-50 Senate would solely be a symbolic victory.
The Kaine-led invoice is a straightforward framework that will ban states from instituting laws that will impose an “undue burden” on abortion entry earlier than the purpose of viability, which is often outlined as round 24 weeks. States may restrict post-viability abortions so long as abortions defending the well being of the mom are usually not banned.
It might additionally codify the precise to contraceptives, which is protected below a high-court precedent that conservative Justice Clarence Thomas stated ought to be revisited in a concurring opinion within the case that tossed Roe v. Wade, the 1973 determination that shielded abortion rights.
“The Supreme Courtroom’s current abandonment of longstanding precedent erodes the reproductive rights on which ladies have relied for half a century,” Collins stated in an announcement.
Sweeping abortion bans have taken impact in 9 states already after the choice, whereas one other 4 states ban abortions at six weeks, a interval earlier than most ladies know they’re pregnant, in response to a New York Occasions tally. Maine has a permissive set of abortion legal guidelines which have been loosened additional by Gov. Janet Mills and a Democratic-led Legislature.
Collins was a central determine within the struggle over the excessive court docket and abortion rights, voting in 2018 for Justice Brett Kavanaugh whereas insisting that he wouldn’t vote to overturn Roe over objections from Democratic senators and abortion-rights activists. After he did in June, the Maine senator accused him of deceptive her on the problem.
The senator launched an identical measure in February alongside Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, that will codify Roe’s protections. The Kaine invoice is a barely expanded model that provides some bipartisan help, however it’s unclear whether or not Schumer will carry it to a vote.
Abortion-rights teams which have aligned with Collins previously on the problem however mobilized in opposition to her after the Kavanaugh vote have criticized these pushes, saying they imply nothing if senators don’t comply with dump the filibuster.
“Until these senators are keen to finish the filibuster to cross this measure, there’s no cause to take it critically,” Mini Timmaraju, the president of NARAL Professional-Alternative America, stated in an announcement.