Republican Susan Collins Defends Vote to Fund Planned Parenthood: “That Demonstrates” My Abortion Support

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 30, 2018   |   10:44AM   |   Washington, DC

Maine Republican Susan Collins’s vote is one of just a few stopping the United States government from defunding the abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

A pro-abortion Republican, the U.S. Senator recently joined fellow Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in voting against an amendment that would have stripped the abortion chain of hundreds of millions of tax dollars.

Last week, Collins defended her vote to her constituents during a stop at a school fundraiser in Winslow, Maine, The Town Line reports.

“I was one of two Republicans who voted against an amendment that would have taken away all federal funding for Planned Parenthood … and I think that demonstrates how important I view a woman’s right to choose [abortion],” she said.

Last week, Senators voted 45-48 on the defunding amendment, with 60 votes needed to add the provision into a government spending bill.  Every Republican voted for the defunding amendment except Collins and Murkowski. Every Democrat voted against it, including a few who describe themselves as pro-life.

Planned Parenthood aborts approximately 320,000 unborn babies every year, more than any other group in the United States. Its most recent annual report showed a record income of $1.46 billion, with about half a billion dollars coming from taxpayers.

At the federal level, President Donald Trump and his administration have been cutting off various streams of funding to abortion groups. However, many of their efforts are being challenged in court.

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Collins also talked about Trump’s second U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. She and Murkowski are under intense pressure from abortion activists to vote against his confirmation.

While Collins said she has not made a final decision about Kavanaugh yet, her comments suggested that she may support him as she did Trump’s first appointee, Justice Neil Gorsuch.

According to the local news:

About Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh, she said, “I had an excellent meeting with Judge Kavanaugh. I asked him many questions covering a wide-range of topics. I started off by asking him whether he had made any commitments to any outside groups, like the Federalist Society or anyone in the White House, including the President, about how he would approach specific cases; and also did he make any commitments on how he would rule. He assured me emphatically that he had not.” …

Although Senator Collins insisted she “had an excellent discussion with him,” she also said, “I have learned always to wait before rendering a final decision — or even preliminary decision — until the hearings before the Judiciary Committee have been held.

“I found him to be very forthcoming. I found him to be very bright, experienced, extremely knowledgeable, and a person who’s thought deeply about the issues and the constitutional roots of precedent.”

At another point in the interview, Collins said: “What I have said is that I could not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe. I did not see that with Judge Kavanaugh.”

Abortion activists have labeled Kavanaugh a “serious threat” to “women’s right to safe, legal abortion,” while national pro-life leaders have expressed high hopes for Kavanaugh and the future of unborn babies’ rights.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh would swing the court to a 5-4 conservative majority and open up the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade and restoring protections to unborn babies.

Senate hearings on Kavanaugh’s confirmation are slated to begin in September.

Kavanaugh has served on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. for more than a decade, where he developed an extensive record of protecting religious liberty and enforcing restrictions on abortion. Pro-life leaders believe he would do the same on the Supreme Court.