Sen. Brown’s wishy-washy stance on defunding Planned Parenthood confuses all, including PP
U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has been called out for flip-flopping on the House-backed/Senate-opposed proposal to strip all federal funding from Planned Parenthood — and, in conjunction, Title X funding — after the senator on Tuesday sent out the following press release:
“I support family planning and health services for women. Given our severe budget problems, I don’t believe any area of the budget is completely immune from cuts. However, the proposal to eliminate all funding for family planning goes too far. As we continue with our budget negotiations, I hope we can find a compromise that is reasonable and appropriate.”
Earlier this month, Brown voted for the GOP House budget proposal that included a measure to end Title X funding, along with a separate amendment to defund Planned Parenthood, authored by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.)
The Boston Globe on Thursday published an article claiming the senator is trying to save his own skin by “having it both ways.”
The Globe notes that Brown has previously stated opposition to extending unemployment benefits and repealing the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy until he voted for both measures.
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts spokesperson Tricia Wadja told the Globe that Planned Parenthood has asked Brown’s staff for a definitive answer on how the senator will vote on the proposal to defund Planned Parenthood if it comes up again, but staff has been noncommittal. Still, Wadja said the staff is trying to convince Brown to oppose the measure. Meanwhile, local anti-abortion rights group Massachusetts Citizens for Life is also working on Brown, the Globe reports.
Since the press release, which was titled “Brown Statement on Budget Negotiations & Planned Parenthood,” the group has lambasted mainstream media outlets for reporting that Brown switched his position on defunding Planned Parenthood when his words only referred to “family planning.” Yet the senator’s office has not provided a clarification to the news outlets that have reached out, and confusion still remains.
As the Weekly Standard reported Wednesday:
Though Brown ran for office as pro-choice on abortion, he won the backing of Massachusetts Citizens for Life by pledging to vote for Supreme Court justices like John Roberts and against federal funding for abortion. Federal funding for Planned Parenthood technically doesn’t get spent directly on abortions, but money is fungible and the hundreds of millions in federal funding for “other services” like contraception ultimately helps out the bottom line and the image of an organization that performs hundreds of thousands of abortions each year.
Does it really make sense politically for Brown to support taxpayer-funding for Planned Parenthood? It would certainly discourage pro-lifers from voting for him (yes, they exist, even in Massachusetts, and yes, Brown would still be a better alternative to a Democrat on the abortion issue and many others).