Susan Collins Called Police Over A Chalk Drawing Asking Her To "Please" Support Abortion Rights
The colorful sidewalk message asked the Republican senator to "please" vote yes on a federal bill aimed at protecting abortion access.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins called the police on Saturday after a chalk message — which asked her to support legislation aimed at protecting abortion access — was found on a sidewalk outside her home in Bangor, Maine.
"Susie, please, Mainers want [the Women's Health Protection Act]," the message said, according to a police report obtained by BuzzFeed News. "Vote yes, clean up your mess."
The message was "intricately drawn" in "multiple different colors," the police report stated.
Authorities declined to identify the local resident who called them to report the chalk drawing, but the report stated it was Collins herself who called the police.
Police responded to the scene, but found that the "message wasn’t threatening" and therefore "no crime was committed," Bangor Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Wade Betters said in a statement. The chalking was then "washed away by our public works department."
In a statement to BuzzFeed News on Thursday, a spokesperson for Collins said that “because Senator Collins periodically gets threatening letters and phone calls, we have been advised by Capitol Police to notify the local police department when there is activity directed at her around her home.”
Collins previously told Bangor Daily News that the chalk message was "defacement of public property."
“We are grateful to the Bangor police officers and the City public works employee who responded to the defacement of public property in front of our home,” Collins added.
Collins isn't the only official whose residence has recently been the site of abortion rights activism after the leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court suggested the end of Roe v. Wade — protests have been held outside the Maryland homes of Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and John Roberts.
Despite a lack of violence observed at these protests, the White House criticized them, with press secretary Jen Psaki saying President Joe Biden "strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest" but "that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism."
"Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety," Psaki said.
The Women's Health Protection Act, which passed in the House in September, is scheduled to be voted on by the Senate on Wednesday. The bill aims to protect abortion access on the federal level, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Despite her reputation as a moderate Republican in favor of abortion rights, Collins has said she will vote against the bill. On Thursday, she told CNN she opposed it because she believes the bill wouldn't "protect the right of a Catholic hospital to not perform abortions."
Though Collins has previously proclaimed her support of Roe v. Wade, this would not be the first time her vote did not reflect those views. She voted to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018, telling 60 Minutes she "could not vote for a judge who had demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade," and was satisfied by his responses on the issue during his confirmation hearing.
But Kavanaugh — as well as Justice Neil Gorsuch, who Collins also voted to confirm — did, in fact, vote in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, according to the leaked draft ruling that has ignited abortion rights protests nationwide.
"If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office," Collins said in a statement following the leak.
Correction: Susan Collins called a nonemergency police number. A previous version of this story said she'd called 911.