Social media activists say they are sending coat hangers to the office of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) in a symbolic message about the legacy of anti-abortion policies and court decisions. They want to remind lawmakers about the urgency surrounding the replacement of retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
The social media users are specifically targeting Collins, a key vote in the process to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick. The hashtag campaign appears to have started organically late last week, with participants tweeting #HangersForCollins. The users also shared screen grabs of online shopping carts with coat hangers to show they were purchasing the items with the intent of mailing it to Collins.
The coat hangers are a reference to one method of illegal abortions — a reminder that Trump’s nominee, whom he plans to announce next week, could tilt the court even further to the right. Many fear that this will possibly lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision affirming a woman’s right to an abortion.
Collins, along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), another Republican senator who has generally supported abortion rights, will likely be a crucial player in whether the Senate confirms Kennedy’s replacement.
Earlier this week, Collins asserted that she would not back anyone “who demonstrated a hostility to Roe v. Wade.”
However, the conservative Federalist Society vetted all of the picks on Trump’s shortlist, so it’s likely that any candidate the president chooses will be against abortion. Last year, Collins voted to approve Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was on a previous version of that shortlist. This term, Gorsuch voted with the other conservative justices on a major abortion-related case.
Collins’ office did not immediately return a request for comment.