Speed Reads

Women's Health Protection Act

Sen. Susan Collins won't back abortion rights bill, arguing it contains 'extreme' language

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of "the few remaining Republicans who support abortion rights," said Tuesday she opposes Democrats' Women's Health Protection Act, "which would prohibit states from enacting restrictions on abortion through fetal viability," the Los Angeles Times reports. Collins' opposition likely means the bill won't garner 50 Senate votes, reports Forbes.

The legislation is intended to codify Roe v. Wade in the wake of Texas' incredibly-restrictive abortion law, which criminalizes abortion after six weeks and financially incentivizes private citizens to sue anyone who aids and abets in the abortion-seeking process.

Collins said she supports codifying Roe, but opposes the bill because it would weaken the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, "which protects a person's ability to exercise their religion," writes the Times. She also said she found parts of the bill's language "extreme."

"This 'carve out' would be unprecedented, and I do not believe it is necessary to codify Roe," Collins said.

Meanwhile, women's health clinics in neighboring states are reporting an influx of out-of-state patients from Texas as a result of the law, writes The Wall Street Journal.

The House is expected to approve the bill Friday; Democratic leaders in the Senate "are considering whether to bring it to a vote." The Biden administration has also urged Congress to pass the legislation, per Forbes. Read more at the Los Angeles Times.