Susan Collins Working With Democrats to Defeat 'Inhumane' Texas Abortion Law

Republican Sen. Susan Collins said she is working with Democrats to codify Roe v. Wade and defeat the nation's most restrictive abortion law.

Texas enacted a law early September that prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know they are pregnant, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the law to take effect. Days later, the Department of Justice sued Texas to block the law's enforcement.

Collins, a Republican representing Maine, called the law "extreme, inhumane and unconstitutional" at an event in Maine on Saturday, The Associated Press reported.

She said she is working with two Democrats and another Republican in Congress on a bill that would make Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling legalized abortion nationwide, the "law of the land."

Protesters take part in the Women's March
Protesters take part in the Women's March and Rally for Abortion Justice in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2021. And/AFP via Getty Images

Collins did not identify the lawmakers she is working with but said the bill would be introduced soon. A spokesperson for Collins has been contacted for additional comment.

Last month, Collins said she would not support a bill passed by House Democrats that would prohibit states from enacting restrictions on abortion through fetal viability.

Collins said the bill would weaken the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects a person's ability to exercise their religion.

"I support codifying Roe," she told the Los Angeles Times. "Unfortunately, the bill ... goes way beyond that. It would severely weaken the conscious exceptions that are in the current law."

Her comments came as women across the country took to the streets in the first Women's March of the Biden administration.

In Washington, D.C., demonstrators headed for the stop of the Supreme Court chanting "my body, my choice."

Monday marks the start of a new term for the Supreme Court after three appointments by former president Donald Trump cemented conservative control of the high court. In December, the court will hear arguments in Mississippi's bid to overturn Roe v. Wade.

On Friday, the Biden administration urged a federal judge to block the Texas law.

Lawyers for the Justice Department asked U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman to block the law temporarily at a hearing in Austin, Reuters reported.

"There is no doubt under binding constitutional precedents that a state may not ban abortions at six weeks," Brian Netter, the lead Justice Department attorney on the case, told the court.

"Texas knew this but it wanted a six-week ban anyway. So this state resorted to an unprecedented scheme of vigilante justice."

The law empowers private citizens to enforce the ban by suing doctors or anyone who assists a woman in getting an abortion, entitling them to at least $10,000 in damages if successful.

Will Thompson, an attorney in the Texas Attorney General's Office, said the Justice Department's arguments were filled with "hyperbole and inflammatory rhetoric."

Thompson also said there were plenty of opportunities for Texans to challenge the law on their own, according to Reuters.