Senator Susan Collins (R., Maine) expressed frustration with Planned Parenthood on Sunday, accusing the group of a double standard when it comes to Supreme Court nominees.
“I would note that Planned Parenthood opposed three pro-choice justices just because they were nominated by Republican presidents: David Souter, Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Kennedy,” Collins said, recalling the organization’s opposition to Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“They said the same thing: Women will die. This is just outrageous.”
The nation’s largest abortion provider attacked Collins after she decided to vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh, helping ensure that he would take the seat of the retiring Kennedy, for whom he once clerked.
“Senator Collins has made it clear that she can no longer call herself a women’s rights champion,” the organization’s PAC charged in a tweet. “She has sided with those who disbelieved, disrespected, and even mocked survivors. We deserve better. Women won’t forget.”
Kavanaugh came out on top of bitter, protracted confirmation process in which he was accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, after an FBI investigation failed to find sufficient evidence to convince undecided senators to oppose him.
“I have never disregarded, disrespected or mocked survivors. That is just plain untrue,” Collins told CNN. “I worked to preserve funding for Planned Parenthood over and over again, and I’m going to continue to do so.”
She also said she did not approve of Kavanaugh’s angry demeanor during his testimony defending himself, but that she “put myself in his shoes.”
“He is coming forth and answering an allegation that includes that he was involved in gang-raping and doping girls,” Collins said. “I mean, that is so devastating, and I think he reacted with anger and anguish as a father of two young girls, a ten-year-old and a 13-year-old.”