AUGUSTA, Maine — This story is developing and will be updated throughout the day.
Gov. Janet Mills on Friday affirmed her support for abortion rights following a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, called the decision "dangerous" and "infuriating," and said he voted against Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett specifically because they showed "clear hostility toward a woman's right to choose."
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the decision is "ill-considered" and said votes to overturn Roe by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were inconsistent with her discussions with them prior to her votes to confirm them to the Supreme Court.
"My veto pen will stand in the way of any effort to undermine, rollback, or outright eliminate the right to safe and legal abortion in Maine," Mills, a Democrat, said in a release shortly after the decision was announced.
"This decision is a fundamental assault on women’s rights and on reproductive freedom that will do nothing to stop abortion," Mills continued. "In fact, it will only make abortion less safe and jeopardize the lives of women across the nation. In Maine, I will defend the right to reproductive health care with everything I have, and I pledge to the people of Maine that, so long as I am Governor, my veto pen will stand in the way of any effort to undermine, rollback, or outright eliminate the right to safe and legal abortion in Maine.”
“Today’s decision to overturn nearly half a century of precedent upon precedent is a dangerous, blatantly political ruling that will rob millions of women [of] the fundamental right to make decisions about their own health, safety, and lives," King said in a statement. "The right to a safe, legal abortion has been reaffirmed by the Court time and time again – but this new majority has decided to overwrite longstanding precedent to impose their own personal and religious views on women across the country. This ruling goes against the wishes of the majority of Americans, and lays a terrifying groundwork for this Court to unravel many other hard-earned civil rights in the years ahead.
“The threshold question of whether abortion is legal needs to be consistent at a national level," Collins said in a statement early Friday afternoon. "States can account for regional differences with regulations like parental notification requirements, but the basic right needs to be the same for all American women."
“The Supreme Court has abandoned a fifty-year precedent at a time that the country is desperate for stability," she continued."This ill-considered action will further divide the country at a moment when, more than ever in modern times, we need the Court to show both consistency and restraint. Throwing out a precedent overnight that the country has relied upon for half a century is not conservative. It is a sudden and radical jolt to the country that will lead to political chaos, anger, and a further loss of confidence in our government.
“Today’s catastrophic ruling is the culmination of a decades-long effort by Republican extremists to install anti-choice justices on a High Court that routinely overrules Congress and the public’s will with impunity," Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said in part. "Enabled by Senate Republicans, this shamefully partisan Supreme Court has decided against the more than 70 percent of Americans who want Roe v. Wade upheld."
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is a grave mistake," Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, said. "The majority opinion is wrong on principle and it is wrong on the merits, tossing aside decades of established precedent. In many parts of the country, there will be serious and harmful consequences for millions of women."
Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey rounded out the opposition to the decision, saying he was "gutted" by it. But he reminded Mainers that abortion remains legal in Maine, although he said that right is "vulnerable and requires vigorous protection."
“Today’s decision, coupled with the Court’s decision in Carson v. Makin, is the culmination of years of work by the religious right to use personally held beliefs to control public life, and now, literally what control women have over their bodies," Frey said. "It also signals the extremity of the values represented in the majority of the Supreme Court and its casual willingness to undermine any respect for precedent in achieving its desired ends. That said, I want to be clear: despite this decision, abortion remains legal in Maine. But now we have been reminded that this right is vulnerable and requires vigorous protection. Maine policymakers are now the last line of defense of this right. I promise that as Attorney General, I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure unfettered access to abortion services.”