Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, broke ranks with the rest of her Senate Republican colleagues Wednesday, this time over a judicial pick whose views on abortion have generated a considerable amount of opposition from pro-abortion voices.
Wednesday, the Senate voted 51-45 on a procedural measure to advance the nomination of Wendy Vitter to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., did not vote.
Collins, a consistent and vocal proponent of pro-abortion policies in the upper chamber, was the only Republican to cast a vote against Vitter’s advancement.
A story at The Hill notes that Vitter, the wife of former Sen. David Vitter, R-La., whose Senate career overlapped with Collins’, made previous remarks opposing the construction of a Planned Parenthood clinic and appeared to back research on the link between abortion and breast cancer while moderating a pro-life event years ago.
A spokeswoman for the Maine senator confirmed she would also oppose the nominee’s final confirmation in the following Thursday vote.
Another report notes that Collins is the target of a five-figure digital ad campaign opposing the nominee from progressive group Demand Justice. “Trump nominee Wendy Vitter wants to shut down Planned Parenthood. So why would Senator Susan Collins vote for her?” the ad asks.
Planned Parenthood also urged people to contact their senators in opposition to the nomination. A recent tweet from the abortion provider shows clips of Vitter explaining her previous positions and statements on abortion to Sen. Hirono at her confirmation hearing.
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) May 14, 2019