News reached the nation Monday, May 2, the Supreme Court may be about to strike down Roe v. Wade, putting the decision whether to ban abortions back in the hands of individual states.

Politico broke the story online releasing a leaked draft of a 98-page majority decision of the Supreme Court written by Justice Samuel Alito that says, in part, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start…”

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

The decision, which may not be finalized for months, would allow states to ban abortions, and those actions are expected in many southern and midwestern states.

In Maine, political discussion of the issue has turned attention to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who has been called a moderate Republican over the years even to the point of being criticized by fellow Maine Republicans following her last election. Despite that reputation, she voted with Republicans to confirm conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.

Collins was the only Republican to vote against conservative Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020. At the time, Collins was in a tight race for re-election, facing a challenge from Sara Gideon, and Collins said she would not vote for Barrett’s confirmation so close to the presidential election, to be fair since that was an argument Republicans made previously in blocking Democratic nominees.

Collins issued this statement on the draft May 3, saying:

“If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office. Obviously, we won’t know each Justice’s decision and reasoning until the Supreme Court officially announces its opinion in this case.”

State Sen. David Miramant, D-Camden, joined the protests May 3.

“This action if taken, would cause needless suffering and deaths, and would make a mockery of the stated goal,” he said. “We have taken steps to keep abortion safe and legal here in Maine and I will continue to stand up for that right. The right to have control over what can be done with, or to, your own body is a cornerstone of a free society and must remain an individual’s choice. I joined thousands of folks who shared that opinion with the Supreme Court today to make sure our voices were  heard.”

Meagan Sway, ACLU of Maine policy director said of the draft, “Abortion is still legal in Maine, regardless of the leaked draft opinion. Maine has significant legal protections for people seeking abortions here. If the Supreme Court does issue a final majority opinion that overturns Roe v. Wade, it would be a devastating blow to our constitutional freedoms. Americans seeking abortions have relied on this fundamental, constitutional right for almost 50 years. If the Supreme Court were to take away this right, it would be up to states to decide whether to protect abortion care and access, or to ban it. Abortion is healthcare. Abortion is a right. We will never stop defending it in Maine.”

Planned Parenthood of Maine issued a statement, saying: “It is important to note that while this opinion is still a draft and abortion is still legal across the country (though only up to six weeks of pregnancy in Texas), this leaked opinion is horrifying and unprecedented, and it confirms that the Supreme Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade.

“Legal abortion has been protected in Maine state law since 1993 when the Reproductive Privacy Act became law. If the Supreme Court allows states to ban abortion, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion, but the Reproductive Privacy Act ensures that Maine will not be one of them.”

Local legislators opined on the topic, as well.

“Well, the politicization and the conservative ideological indoctrination of the Court has gone off the rails,” said Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, I-Friendship. “If they proceed with this, expect a free-for-all at the state legislative levels across the country. This isn’t a smart move by the five hardline Republican Justices, sure to backfire with a majority of people, just when the Republicans were looking at gains in November.”

Evangelos continued, “I have a question for all those states and people that want to outlaw abortion: How many prisons are you going to build? And what are you going to do with the doctors who will go underground and perform procedures surreptitiously? Nobody likes the idea of an abortion. I like the idea of returning to the dark ages even less.”

Rep. Ann Matlack, D-Spruce Head, responded, saying, “I am unhappy that the Supreme Court has become as overtly politicized as Congress and that targeted leaks are being used to influence upcoming decisions. I am disappointed that assurances Collins received from Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh about Roe v Wade being settled law were false.

“And I am furious that not only does Justice Alito want to turn back Roe, but that it is just the first step in threats to many of our fundamental rights. If Roe is overturned, we will likely be facing suits to overturn previous Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage, access to birth control, interracial marriage and more.

“Almost 70% of Americans support access to abortion care, and Maine is among the most supportive states in the country of abortion care. Especially if the Supreme Court overturns Roe, I vow to continue working to protect and defend Mainers’ access to reproductive care.”

Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, said, “The recent news about the leaked draft is horrifying. The implications of this settled law being overturned are dire for a range of reproductive health services, including contraception and such rights as same-sex marriage. Mainers want access to reproductive health care and I pledge to stand up for policies that promote it.”

U.S. Senator Angus King, I-Maine, issued a statement May 3, saying it was “in response to media reports of a months-old draft Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade.”

King continues, “If accurate, the draft Supreme Court ruling circulated last night would be a dangerous, seismic shift in which the Court overturns half a century of established precedent and overrides the most basic, private rights of half the nation. The decision being considered in this preliminary draft would eliminate a longstanding fundamental right supported by 64% of Maine people and 70% of Americans in one fell swoop. The result: Millions of women would be robbed of the right to make vital, lifesaving healthcare decisions with the support of medical professionals. I’m also deeply worried that this draft opinion could invite challenges to other longstanding precedents, including marriage rights for same-sex or interracial couples.

King concludes, “A potential ruling that ends abortion protections would be appalling, but also firmly aligned with the clear long-term goals of conservative legal leaders; in fact, former President Trump explicitly stated he would only nominate justices who would ‘automatically’ overturn Roe. While we do not yet know the final ruling, Congress must be prepared to take legislative action to enshrine Roe into law.”

State Sen. Chloe Maxmin, D-Nobleboro, said, “This is a terrifying time for women and all Americans. It is an attack not just on reproductive right but also on human and civil rights. I will do everything in my power to fight back.”

Rep. Valli Geiger, D-Rockland, said, “Reading Justice Alito’s draft opinion was shocking and dismaying. He describes the decision ‘At the time of Roe, 30 states still prohibited abortion in all stages. In the years prior to that decision, about a third of states had liberalized their laws, but Roe abruptly ended that political process. It imposed the same highly restrictive regime on the entire Nation…’

“His use of the term ‘highly restrictive regime,’ is strange phrasing given that Roe granted women the right to decide for themselves what to do in response to a pregnancy, not the highly restrictive regime of 30 states’ laws barring abortion. Laws created almost entirely by older affluent white men. I would argue the highly restrictive regime better applies to the state of Mississippi, which brought this case to justify severely restricting abortion. Again a law passed by the Republican Mississippi legislature which is 91% male and 99% white.

“Yet Justice Alito and those voting with him would have us believe we, American women, cannot make this decision ourselves. That we are better served by having a state legislature, often predominantly male, decide for us.

“It would be just about a month ago that my Republican colleagues voted against the ERA, explaining that women already had equal rights and did not need ‘special protections.’ Yet here we have a Supreme Court of 4 men and 1 woman, all Catholic, imposing their religious beliefs on all American women. Catholicism also disapproves of birth control. Is that next? Are women to have no ability to control the number of children they have if any? We have a strongly protected separation of church and state for a reason. Any woman, until now, has had the right to carry one or many children to term, they have had the right to carry none. Until now, it was seen as a woman’s body and therefore a woman’s choice.

“Most women are pragmatic and make their choices based on their life circumstances. Women doomed to have many children have life’s choices drastically narrowed, with limited options for education and work, with families suffering the poverty that often follows. This is a travesty. I hope Maine will continue to be a state where a woman’s right to choose remains strong.”