Senate

Pro-abortion rights activists sending coat hangers to GOP senator: report

Pro-abortion rights activists are reportedly sending Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) wire coat hangers in the mail in an effort to press her to vote against any Supreme Court nominee who would overturn Roe v. Wade. 

The Cut reported Monday that advocates are sending Collins wire coat hangers as a graphic reminder of some of the steps historically taken when access to abortion has been restricted.

Justice Anthony Kennedy announced last week that he was retiring at the end of of July, triggering fears that his GOP-appointed replacement would lead the court in overruling the historic Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Collins is seen as a key vote in the Senate for the to-be-named nominee of President Trump, who has pledged to nominate "pro-life judges" in the past.

"I view Roe v. Wade as being settled law," Collins told reporters this week. "It's clearly precedent, and I always look for judges who respect precedent."

Collins also voiced skepticism about the Supreme Court overturning the landmark finding.

"I think, for example, [Chief Justice] John Roberts, given his respect for precedent and his cautious approach, despite what personal views he may hold I would be very surprised if the chief justice would ever vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, just to give you an example," Collins said on Monday's "The Daily" podcast.

Collins said Sunday that she is going to have an "in-depth" discussion with any judge Trump nominates to the high court.

Collins and her fellow GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have both broken with the party before over health-care and abortion-related legislation, including failed votes last summer to repeal ObamaCare and, in January, ban most abortions after 20 weeks.

Republicans only hold a 51-49 margin, so every GOP vote is critical to confirming Trump's nominee.

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