Collins says she supports legislation putting Roe v. Wade protections into law

Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsI'm furious about Democrats taking the blame — it's time to fight back 'All or nothing' won't bolster American democracy: Reform the filibuster and Electoral Count Act Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities MORE (Maine) would back a move to codify Roe v. Wade protections into law, her office signaled on Wednesday.

In a statement to NBC News, Collins's spokesperson Annie Clark said, "Senator Collins supports the right to an abortion and believes that the protections in the Roe and Casey decisions should be passed into law. She has had some conversations with her colleagues about this and is open to further discussions."

The comments from the moderate senator's office come as the Supreme Court, controlled by a conservative supermajority, seems poised to consider new abortion limits after hearing oral arguments over a Mississippi law that virtually bans all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

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Collins opposed the Women's Health Protection Act that was passed in the House in September. According to Clark, the Republican senator is in favor of a limited version of this legislation.

"Unfortunately, the House Democrats’ bill goes far beyond codifying Roe and Casey. For example, their legislation would severely weaken protections afforded to health care providers who refuse to perform abortions on religious or moral grounds," said Clark.

If passed, the bill would create federal protections against state legislation aimed at restricting abortion access. Though it is unlikely to pass in the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has promised that it will receive a vote.

Any abortion legislation would have difficulty getting through the 50-50 Senate. 

The Supreme Court's ruling on the Mississippi case is expected to come in June, five months before the midterm elections.