Collins: Alabama abortion law 'very extreme,' 'terrible'

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell tightlipped as impeachment furor grows Congress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds Trump seeks to distance himself from Turkish invasion of Syria MORE (R-Maine) is taking the lead among Senate Republicans in slamming Alabama's new law banning most abortions, calling it "very extreme" and a "terrible law."

Collins, a moderate, said Thursday that the law is “inconsistent” with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that established a women's right to an abortion.

“I’m very much opposed to the Alabama law. I think it’s completely inconsistent with Roe v. Wade and will lead to a virtual ban on abortions in Alabama, even for victims of incest and rape. And to threaten a physician who performs an abortion with up to 99 years in jail is a very extreme law,” Collins told The Hill.

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Separately, she told CNN on Thursday, “The Alabama law is a terrible law — it’s very extreme — it essentially bans all abortions. I can’t imagine that any justice could find that to be consistent with the previous precedents.”

Collins has predicted that the courts will strike down the law.

"That legislation is so extreme that I can’t imagine that the courts would sustain it ... I’m not going to try to predict court cases, but I cannot imagine that that law won’t be overturned,” she told NBC News on Wednesday.

Collins says that she regularly vets judicial nominees based on their views about the importance of precedents such as Roe v. Wade.

“I’ve always asked what their views are on precedents. Every single nominee that I’ve personally interviewed," she said.

Collins came under fire last year after she voted for Supreme Court nominee Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSupreme Court can prove its independence — or its partisan capture Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood plans M campaign for 2020 | Dem candidates embrace aggressive step on drug prices | Officials propose changes to encourage 'value-based' care Bans on public coverage for abortion are unjustified by science and outright harmful MORE, and liberal activists have tried to revive that vote as potentially significant should the high court rule on the Alabama law or others.

Kavanaugh described Roe v. Wade as “important precedent.”