On Sunday, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) said she would not vote for President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court if the nominee was "hostile" to Roe v. Wade.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise; Collins showed how callous she was to the rights of the unborn child in 2003. On October 21, 2003, voting with Senate Democrats, Collins was one of the three Republican Senators to oppose the Partial Birth-Abortion Act. The act was ultimately passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives before it was signed into law by President George W. Bush. In 2007, its constitutionality was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart.
The Act defined partial-birth abortion thus:
An abortion in which the person performing the abortion, deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus.
During the debate on the issue, GOP Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah described in detail the gruesome procedure the act was designed to prevent:
This bill does only one thing: it prohibits one particularly gruesome abortion procedure—so gruesome that only a handful of doctors are willing to perform it. This procedure is never medically necessary. It is simply morally reprehensible, indefensible, and should be banned. I honestly do not know how anyone, after learning of this procedure, could continue to defend it.
Those Members of this body who disagree with me, I think they should have to actually watch this procedure being done. Once they have seen the baby’s legs kicking while it is being killed—I challenge them to defend it then, because as one can see, the legs and hands are outside, and anybody watching will know this is a fully living human being.
The procedure, known as dilation and extraction—or ‘‘D&X’’—involves the partial delivery of an intact baby into the birth canal. In the case of a breech presentation, the baby is delivered from the feet through the shoulders so only the head remains in the birth canal. And in the case of a head-first presentation, the body’s full head is delivered outside the birth mother. Then, either scissors or another instrument are used to stab a hole in the base of the skull. There is no doubt that this is a living baby at this point—a baby that feels pain, make no mistake about it. After the scissors are stabbed into the head a suction catheter is inserted to suck out the baby’s brains and collapse he skull. That is about as barbaric as anything I have seen or heard.
Collins stated that she supported an amendment offered by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois that “would prohibit the abortion of any viable fetus by any method unless the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the woman or to prevent grievous injury to her physical health.”
Then GOP Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a fierce opponent of abortion, harshly responded by attacking Durbin's amendment:
This is a ban without a ban because it leaves it completely to the subjectivity of the physician to determine viability. But that is only half the problem. The other half of the problem is these words. It says: “It shall be unlawful for a physician to intentionally abort a viable fetus unless the physician prior to performing the abortion, including partial-birth abortion, certifies in writing in the physician’s medical judgment, based on the particular facts of the case before the physician, the continuation of the pregnancy would threaten the mother’s life—” Hear the operative words—“or risk grievous injury to her physical health.”
Substantial risk? A little risk? One percent risk? Half of 1 percent risk? Is it .00001 percent risk? Risk is not defined and risk can mean any risk. It can mean the slightest risk. As Dr. Warren Hern, who is the author of the standard textbook on abortion procedures back in May of 1997, said in response to a question on this amendment: ‘‘I say every pregnancy carries a risk—’’ not just of grievous physical injury—‘‘of death.’’
The fact is, risk not being defined is the open door. The analogy was made by someone that if you have a law that says no dog may be shot except where there is a risk that the dog in question may bite, then any dog can be shot be cause there is always a risk a dog is going to bite. Any abortion can be performed be-cause there is always a risk.