Collins, a moderate, has drawn particular scrutiny – and anger – over her votes to confirm several Supreme Court justices who appear poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The message, which read “Mainers want WHPA – → vote yes, clean up your mess,” was written in chalk and appeared on the sidewalk. The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which Collins voted against sending to the Senate floor in February, would codify the right to abortion into law nationwide and ban restrictions on abortion access.
The Senate is expected to vote to advance a version of the bill on Wednesday, a move that is likely to fail amid Republican opposition. Collins, who has introduced her own bill with fellow Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to codify abortion rights established by Roe v. Wade, has argued that the Democrats’ measure is too broad.
Wade Betters, a Bangor Police Department spokesperson, told the Bangor Daily News that the sidewalk message was “not overtly threatening.” Collins’ office also said that because the senator 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 issued a statement to the Bangor Daily News, saying she was “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.”
Abortion rights activists and liberals have criticized Collins, who voted to confirm Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court – and both have joined three other conservative justices in a leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe V. Wade.
Last week, Collins called the draft opinion “completely inconsistent” with what Gorsuch and Kavanaugh “said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office,” though she noted in a statement that “we will not know each Justice’s decision and reasoning until the Supreme Court officially announces its opinion in this case. “
Asked if she was misled by Kavanaugh, Collins told CNN, “My statement speaks for itself.”
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to identify Wade Betters as a spokesman for the Bangor Police Department.