Update: The chalk is back. Read for details about what was written and a reaction from her husband, Tom Daffron.
Sen. Susan Collins called police over the weekend after an unknown person or persons wrote a pro-abortion rights message in chalk on the sidewalk outside her West Broadway home in Bangor.
“Susie, please, Mainers want WHPA —–> vote yes, clean up your mess,” the message read, according to a Bangor police report.
WHPA refers to the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify the right to abortion into law and ban restrictions on abortion access.
Bangor police responded to Collins’ West Broadway home at 9:20 p.m. Saturday after she complained about a message written in chalk on her sidewalk, the report said.
“The message was not overtly threatening,” spokesperson Wade Betters said.
Bangor police called the Department of Public Works to wash the message away, Betters said. The message was not visible on Monday afternoon.
“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 said.
Collins in February voted against advancing the Women’s Health Protection Act to the Senate floor for debate, and it failed to advance. She and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, introduced an opposing bill that would codify Roe v. Wade while still allowing states to restrict abortion care after fetal viability.
Collins was criticized last week for supporting the confirmation of Supreme Court justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch after Politico published a leaked majority opinion draft, which Kavanaugh and Gorsuch had signed onto, that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that guaranteed the right to abortion.
Collins and Sen. Angus King said in the wake of the draft news that they supported abortion rights, but would not support overturning the Senate filibuster to codify Roe v. Wade in federal law. Reproductive rights issues could figure prominently in midterm election campaigns this fall.
Collins voted to confirm Kavanaugh in 2018 after she said he assured her that he respected legal precedents and would not let his personal views on abortion cloud his decisions. She said last week that Kavanaugh and Gorsuch’s support for the court’s draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, which is not a final decision, was “inconsistent” with their previous statements to her.
Former Bangor city solicitor Paul Nicklas said in 2020 that the city doesn’t prohibit chalking or erasing chalk on city sidewalks, after Bangor police cited a man who erased a local evangelical church’s chalk messages that the group had written in West Market and Pickering squares in downtown Bangor.
The chalk messages contained anti-LGBTQ sentiments.