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GOP Sen. Susan Collins supports codifying Roe v. Wade abortion protections into law

"She has had some conversations with her colleagues about this and is open to further discussions," a spokeswoman said.

WASHINGTON — Sen. Susan Collins, the moderate Republican from Maine, favors passing legislation to enshrine the protections of Roe v. Wade into law, her office said Wednesday.

"Senator Collins supports the right to an abortion and believes that the protections in the Roe and Casey decisions should be passed into law. She has had some conversations with her colleagues about this and is open to further discussions," a spokeswoman, Annie Clark, said in an email.

The remarks came hours after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a major case that experts believe could lead to the undoing of the landmark 1973 ruling and its precedents that protect a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy.

But Collins opposes the House-passed Women's Health Protection Act, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has promised will get a vote in the Senate.

She favors a more limited version.

"Unfortunately, the House Democrats’ bill goes far beyond codifying Roe and Casey. For example, their legislation would severely weaken protections afforded to health care providers who refuse to perform abortions on religious or moral grounds," Clark said.

Even if the Senate finds a majority of votes to codify abortion rights, such a bill would be subject to the 60-vote rule. There aren't 50 Senate votes to weaken the filibuster, nor are there 60 votes to enshrine abortion protections into law.