Senator Brown loves nothing more than reaping the political benefits of a bi-partisan message that appeals to a hefty number of voters. Sadly, what his approach consists in when it comes to reproductive issues is having to omit half of the picture from whomever he is speaking to at any given time. This is because he wavers between two camps that by their nature clash in almost every sense: part of the time he's with those who support women's reproductive freedom and part of the time he's with those who would threaten that freedom.
While Brown once opposed cut funding for Planned Parenthood, was in favor of a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics, and backed a mandate for emergency contraception to rape victims, on the whole he demonstrates a stronger lean towards the interests of the pro-life cause.
What Brown would rather leave in the shadows in his state are his votes to defund Planned Parenthood and to defund Title X, the only existing federal grant program completely devoted to providing comprehensive family planning services to individuals.
The senator talks it up about how we should aim at reducing the number of abortions but likes to leave out his filing of an amendment to allow any hospital to deny emergency contraception to rape victims on a religious objection, and his co-sponsoring of the Blunt Amendment which would have allowed insurers and employers to deny coverage of contraception for virtually any reason. To be only as clear as not to be redundant, reducing access to contraception does not strike the intuition as a sensible means of reducing the frequency of abortions and the difficult question over their appropriateness having to be addressed.
Add his endorsements from anti-choice groups like Massachusetts Citizens for Life and the National Right to Life Committee to that list of skeletons in Mr. “Pro-Choice”'s closet. After pairing the record against the rhetoric on matters of reproductive health, one can only anticipate that the two-term US Senate hopeful will remain beholden to the interests of these organizations.
As a matter of coincidence, I received in the mail today an ad paid for by the Massachusetts Republican State Committee dedicated strictly to the sale of the idea that the senator has "a strong record on women's issues". With respect to reproductive issues, the ad touts his vote against cutting off federal Planned Parenthood funding. But the substance begins and ends there, and platitudes like "Scott Brown is committed to protecting a woman's right to choose" are what the remainder of the ad consists of. Not a lick of reference is given to any of his aforementioned measures that inhibit women's access to family planning resources.
It is in the interest of those who value so little as consistency, and especially to the pro-choice camp, to see that Scott Brown puts these issues on precarious grounds as long as he is casting votes pertaining to them.
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