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NEW VIDEO: Fact Check: Scott Brown On Women's Health

Scott Brown just released a new ad expressing his outrage with Senator Shaheen for highlighting his terrible record on women’s health.

Unfortunately for Scott Brown, facts are facts. For example:

  • Scott Brown is from Massachusetts.
  • Scott Brown sits on the Board of Directors at a company that outsources American jobs.
  • Scott Brown lavished praise on the Koch brothers for helping him in his 2010 campaign and asked them for more money.

Those are just facts. These are also facts:

  • Scott Brown cosponsored legislation requiring a woman to review pictures and information detailing the developmental progress of her fetus.
  • Scott Brown voted for a budget that eliminated all federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • Scott Brown voted for the Blunt Amendment which would have allowed employers and insurance companies to deny birth control coverage.

Scott Brown can attack Jeanne Shaheen all he wants, but facts are facts. And when it comes to women’s health, the fact is, Scott Brown doesn’t cut it.

CO-SPONSORED WOMEN’S RIGHT TO KNOW LEGISLATION

Brown Co-Sponsored The Women’s Right To Know Act, Which Required A Women To Wait 24 Hours Before Having An Abortion And To Review Pictures And Information Detailing The Developmental Progress Of Her Fetus .According to the Boston Globe, “Brown’s record is far more nuanced. He has angered abortion-rights groups with acts like his cosponsorship of the Women’s Right to Know Act, which would require a woman to wait 24 hours before having an abortion and to review pictures and information detailing the developmental progress of her fetus.” [Boston Globe, 1/4/10]

Brown Co-Sponsored The Women’s Right To Know Act, Which Required A Women To Wait 24 Hours Before Having An Abortion And To Review Pictures And Information Detailing The Developmental Progress Of Her Fetus. According to the Boston Globe, “Brown also occasionally sided with antiabortion activists when he was in the state Legislature. In 2005, he sought to allow doctors and nurses to opt out of offering emergency contraception to rape victims if the health care workers had religious objections. Brown later voted for the bill without his changes, meaning doctors and nurses would be required to offer emergency contraception, regardless of their beliefs. In addition, Brown cosponsored the Women’s Right to Know Act, which would require women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion and to review pictures and information detailing the development of their fetus. But Brown has also taken votes in the state Senate and the US Senate that were applauded by abortion-rights supporters. In 2007, he voted to create a 35-foot buffer zone to keep protesters away from abortion clinics. In 2012, he voted to repeal a law that required women in the military who are victims of rape to pay for abortions at military facilities. He also opposed an effort to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood.” [Boston Globe, 8/23/12]

SUPREME COURT HOBBY LOBBY DECISION

Brown’s Campaign Commented On The Hobby Lobby Decision Indirectly, Said The Best Solution To Prevent Obamacare From Threatening “All Our Freedoms” Was To Repeal It. According to the Valley News, “Scott Brown’s campaign – he’s running to unseat Shaheen – took several hours to issue a statement and did not directly comment on the court’s ruling, even when pressed for further comment. ‘Scott Brown supports women’s health care and access to contraception but by injecting government into every aspect of our lives, Obamacare threatens all our freedoms. The best solution is to repeal it,’ said Elizabeth Guyton, Brown’s communications director.” [Valley News, 7/1/14]

BROWN WAS ENDORSED BY ANTI-CHOICE GROUPS  

Brown Claimed To Be Pro-Choice, But Won Endorsement Of Massachusetts Citizens For Life. According to the Milford Daily News, Brown has often described himself as pro-choice, but won the endorsement of the group ‘Massachusetts Citizens for Life’ as an expected “prolife vote in the Senate.” Brown had not previously won the group’s endorsement, but in an earlier election “A newsletter from Massachusetts Citizens for Life says he ‘promised to support pending pro-life legislation’ in response to a recent questionnaire.” According to the Boston Globe, “Brown also co-sponsored the so-called “Women’s Right to Know Bill, “ which would require doctors at reproductive clinics to inform patients in graphic detail about the risks associated with abortions and would require women to observe a 24-hour “reflection period” before the procedure can be performed.” The president and CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Dianne Luby, said “He [Brown] has actively done things that undermine abortion rights.” [Milford Daily News, 3/1/04; Boston Globe, 1/4/10, 1/10/10]

  • Massachusetts Citizens For Life Endorsed Brown In Campaign For U.S. Senate. On January 1, 2010 Brown received the endorsement of Mass Citizens for Life. On their blog they wrote, “Our PAC has been supporting Scott Brown because he will be a pro-life vote in the Senate. Scott Brown will also vote against the health care bill.” The group also publicized a literature “drop” they are planning to do on Brown’s behalf the weekend before the special election. [Mass Citizens for Life Blog, 1/1/10]
  • Massachusetts Citizens For Life: Brown “Takes Pro-Life Positions.” Massachusetts Citizens for Life, the state’s leading anti-choice lobbying group, characterizes Brown as a lawmaker who “takes pro-life positions.” The November 2008 election edition of MCLF News reviewed the abortion rights stances of State House incumbents and challengers and awarded Brown its favorable rating of “+”. According to the Milford Daily News, in Brown’s 2004 quest for the state Senate, Massachusetts Citizens for Life told its members that Brown had “promised to support pending pro-life legislation.” [Massachusetts Citizens for Life News, Nov/Dec 2008; Milford Daily Newshttp://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x822253578, 3/1/04]

Brown Was Helped By National Right To Life Committee, A National Anti-Abortion Group, Which Spent $45,000 On Pro-Brown Mailers In Senate Campaign. According to the Boston Globe, “The National Right to Life Committee has spent about $45,000 sending out mailers supporting Senator Scott Brown, even as he supports legalized abortion. The expenditure for the mailings, reported over the last several days to the Federal Elections Commission, cannot legally be approved by Brown. He has received endorsements from several groups that oppose legalized abortion, in part because of his opposition to President Obama’s health care law and his support for a measure that would have allowed employers and churches to restrict health coverage for treatments or procedures they find morally objectionable. Brown’s vote against Obama’s health care law was unrelated to the abortion issue. Several groups that favor abortion rights support Elizabeth Warren, Brown’s Democratic challenger. Brown has repeatedly said that he is pro-choice and believes Roe v. Wade should not be overturned. The issue has emerged several times in the election, both in debates and advertisements, as the candidates fight for women’s votes. Messages left with the National Right to Life Committee this morning were not immediately returned.” [Boston Globe, 10/25/12] 

Brown Received Endorsement From Leading Antiabortion Group In Massachusetts, Which Called Him “A Senator Who Votes Pro-Life,” Brown Reiterated His Pro-Choice Stance But Did Not Reject Endorsement. According to the Boston Globe, “The state’s leading antiabortion group said Thursday that it plans to support Senator Scott Brown’s reelection campaign, potentially undercutting the Republican’s effort this week to distance himself from his party’s support for strict antiabortion measures. ‘We consider him a senator who votes prolife,’ said Anne Fox, president of the Massachusetts Citizens for Life. ‘We have to take his word for it when he says he is prochoice. But what we’re looking for is someone who votes prolife, and he does.’ Brown said he would not reject the backing of Massachusetts Citizens for Life but reiterated that he considers himself a supporter of abortion rights. ‘There are people of good will on both sides of the abortion issue, and Senator Brown welcomes their support, but he is prochoice and his record going back many years reflects that,’ said Colin Reed, a Brown spokesman.” [Boston Globe, 8/24/12]

  • Brown Also Received Endorsement From Massachusetts Antiabortion Group During 2010 Senate Campaign, And Earned 80% Rating From National Right To Life Committee In Senate. According to the Boston Globe, “Still, Brown received the backing of Massachusetts Citizens for Life in his 2010 run for Senate and has sided with the National Right to Life Committee on four of its five key votes since he arrived in Washington, earning him an 80 percent approval rating.” [Boston Globe, 8/24/12]
  • Brown, As State Senator, Cosponsored Bill Requiring 24 Hour Waiting Period Before Abortion, And Requiring Women To Review Pictures And Developmental Information About The Fetus Before Abortion. According to the Boston Globe, “In addition, Brown cosponsored the Women’s Right to Know Act, which would require women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion and to review pictures and information detailing the development of their fetus.” [Boston Globe, 8/24/12] 

Claim: “I Support Continued Funding For Planned Parenthood.”

VOTED TO CUT ALL FEDERAL MONEY FROM PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Brown Supported House Republican Budget That Would Cut $62 Billion In Non-Defense Spending. In March 2011, Brown voted for a House-passed bill that would have funded the government for the remaining 2011 fiscal year. According to Politico, the bill “would cut $62 billion in non-defense discretionary spending compared to the budget bill that the government is currently operating under.” [Politico, 3/9/11]  

  • Budget Eliminated All Federal Money For Planned Parenthood. According to ABC News, the House Republican budget that Brown voted for also eliminated all $363 million dollars in Planned Parenthood funding, none of which was used to provide abortion services. The money was used by Planned Parenthood to “provide contraceptives, cancer screenings, and pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease testing at community health centers across the country.” [ABC News, 4/8/11]

Claim: “All Women Should Have Access To Contraception”

OPPOSED CONTRACEPTION COVERAGE

Blunt Amendment 

2012: Brown Voted For The Blunt Amendment, Which Would Have Allowed Employers And Insurance Companies To Avoid ACA Requirements They Found Morally Objectionable. In March 2012, Brown voted for the Blunt Amendment that, according to CNN Wire, “would establish that an entity refusing coverage on religious or moral grounds is not in violation of the law.” The vote was on a motion to table the amendment, with 48 senators voting against the motion – keeping the amendment alive – and 51 senators voting for the motion. [Senate Vote 24, 3/1/12; CNN Wire, 3/1/12]

  • The Blunt Amendment Proposed To Give All Employers, Religious And Non-Religious, The Ability To Opt-Out Of Health Care Requirements With Which They Disagreed On Moral Or Religious Grounds. According to CNN Wire, “The Senate is set to vote Thursday on a controversial amendment pushed by Senate Republicans that would allow employers to opt out of health care coverage they disagree with on moral grounds. The so-called ‘conscience’ amendment, sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, is the Senate Republicans’ response to the simmering controversy over a recent Obama administration decision to mandate the kind of health care coverage provided by religious employers. ‘This bill would just simply say that those health care providers don’t have to follow that mandate if it violates their faith principles,’ stated an early February press release from Blunt. ‘This is about the First Amendment. It’s about religious beliefs. It’s not about any one issue.’” [CNN Wire, 3/1/12]

Brown Confirmed Support For Senator Blunt’s Amendment To Allow Any Employer To Deny Birth Control Coverage To Employees. According to the Washington Post, “Schisms are emerging within the Republican Party after President Obama’s announcement last Friday that he would tweak his contraception mandate to ensure that religious nonprofits aren’t forced to pay for an employee’s birth control coverage. And as GOP leaders push to repeal the requirement entirely, the White House is welcoming that battle . . . Neither would say whether they supported an amendment by their Senate colleague Roy Blunt (MO), which would fully reverse the requirement . . . Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) supports the Blunt amendment, his office said, but he hasn’t found much to criticize in the President’s new policy. ‘Senator Brown appreciates President Obama’s willingness to revisit this issue, and is reviewing the details of the new proposal,’ his spokesman John Donnelly told TPM.” “Brown spokesman Donnelly confirms that the Senator supports GOP Rep. Blunt’s legislation.” [Talking Points Memo, 2/14/12, Washington Post, 2/13/12]