To the Editor:
On April 24, 2018, Sen. Susan Collins voted to confirm Federalist Society member Stuart Kyle Duncan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Confirmed by a vote of 50-47, during a time of Sen. John McCain’s absence, Sen. Collins had the power to keep a known challenger of women’s reproductive rights off the court.
Fast forward to April 7, 2020. Collins-confirmed Judge Duncan has sided with another Federalist Society judge, Jennifer Elrod, to uphold an emergency order by Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas banning all abortion in Texas – even medication abortion – as part of a pandemic order banning elective surgeries. Ignoring the fact that medical abortion does not require PPE, that later abortion as well as carrying a pregnancy to term require numerous in-person visits to healthcare providers and use of PPE, the court has decided that the “temporary postponement” of an abortion is no big deal.
Susan Collins has been elected four times to the U.S. Senate. During each campaign, she promised Maine people her unequivocal support for the right of women to make their own reproductive health decisions and has proudly sited awards from Planned Parenthood as evidence of such. This case now goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Collins-confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh will get to decide if Texas can finally find a way to ban abortions.
Any government given the power to require a woman to carry a pregnancy to term can eventually have the power to force a woman to terminate a pregnancy. Senator Collins turned her back on women and sided with government intrusion into private matters when she voted to confirm Judge Duncan and Justice Kavanaugh. Her time is up.