Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the desire to ban abortions. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the near-total abortion ban in the Lone Star State. The state has effectively banned abortions after six weeks (without exceptions for rape or incest). To add a vigilante slant to this madness: any private citizen in Texas can now sue someone (including doctors or anyone who even gives a patient a ride to a clinic) who assists a woman in getting an abortion. Beyond all of The Handmaid’s Tale comparisons that are prone to fly at a time like this, fingers are pointing regarding who’s most responsible for allowing this to happen.
Strangely, some people would like to blame Susan Sarandon for abandoning the DNC (and publicly declaring that she doesn’t “vote with my vagina” regarding Hillary Clinton) after Bernie Sanders didn’t secure the 2016 Democratic nomination. That’s a real stretch (to blame Susan Sarandon) when, overall, the far-right’s success in shutting down most abortions in Texas is a long-brewing mess that’s founded upon structural inequities that have been allowed to fester for decades. And as it turns out, a different Susan shoulders much more realistic blame here.
That would be Sen. Susan Collins (an ostensibly moderate Republican who represents Maine), who controversially supported (as a key vote) the 2018 confirmation of Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh (who cast the 5th vote this week to uphold the Texas law). Now, Maine mainstay Stephen King is calling Collins out. “Remember when Susan Collins said she was convinced that Brett Kavanaugh believed a woman’s right to choose was ‘settled law?'” the horror author tweeted. “She was wrong. Women in Texas must pay the price for her gullibility.”
Remember when Susan Collins said she was convinced that Brett Kavanaugh believed a woman’s right to choose was “settled law?” She was wrong. Women in Texas must pay the price for her gullibility.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 2, 2021
He’s not wrong. Collins, like a lot of pro-choicers (but with a much bigger platform and the power to do something), has been sitting comfy and imagining that Roe v. Wade would never be at risk of being overturned. Wrong.
For the past five years, the death of Antonin Scalia has been followed up with chess moves (multiple Trump-induced ones) that kept adding to the likelihood that a major challenge to abortion rights would swing towards the pro-life end of things. The latest 5-4 vote, too, has added a lot of scrutiny of Collins’ (very) publicly stated stance that Justice Brett Kavanaugh would never vote to overturn Roe (“His views on honoring precedent would preclude attempts to do by stealth that which one has committed not to do overtly,” Collins previously said).
Well, Collins defended Kavanaugh again after he penned a telling dissent in an abortions-right case out of Louisiana. Again, Kavanaugh was one of five justices (against four) who upheld the new Texas abortion law; and Collins should now answer for contributing to the plight of many Texas women, including a disproportionate amount of women who don’t have the resources to travel out of state for an abortion.
Also very important to remember: at some abortion clinics, part of the procedure to move forward for an abortion is for an ultrasound procedure to confirm the heartbeat. That might not be possible until the 6-week mark, which is also the cutoff date for this new Texas law. It’s a frightening combination, even moreso than any scenario in a Stephen King novel.