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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Warren Ties Brown to G.O.P.\'s Agenda on Women\'s Issues


BOSTON â€" Elizabeth Warren seized on the weekend comments of Missouri Representative Todd Akin on Tuesday, seeking to link his statement about “legitimate rape” to the Republican Party's broader agenda on women's issues â€" and thus, to her opponent in the Massachusetts Senate race, the incumbent Republican Senator Scott P. Brown.

“What he said was dangerously and deliberately ignorant,” said Ms. Warren, a Democrat, referring to Mr. Akin's assertion that women's bodies have biological mechanisms to prevent pregnancy after a rape. “But it did not fall out of the sky.”

“There's a large Republican agenda here that has to do with access to birth control, with access to health care screenin g, to the ability of women to determine control over their bodies, to the definition of rape,” said Ms. Warren, who connected those issues with Mr. Brown.

“He is part of that agenda,” Ms. Warren said. “He is working to get Republicans in control of the United States Senate so they can pursue that agenda.”

Mr. Brown, for his part, has worked aggressively to distance himself from Mr. Akin's comments, calling for the Senate candidate to drop out of his race on Monday morning.

Then, on Tuesday, Mr. Brown criticized a draft Republican Party platform supporting a constitutional amendment banning abortion.

“I believe this is a mistake because it fails to recognize the views of pro-choice Republicans like myself,” wrote Mr. Brown in a letter addressed to Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee.

His campaign also emphasized his support for women's issues in an e-mail to reporters, high lighting his vote in support of measures including the Violence Against Women Act this year, and his expression of support for funding Planned Parenthood.

But during her news conference, Ms. Warren picked out different parts of Mr. Brown's record, including his vote against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which required that women and men be paid the same for the same work, and his co-sponsorship of the Blunt amendment, a failed measure aimed at allowing employers to deny health care coverage they found objectionable, including birth control.

“Scott Brown can't just back off, try to have it both ways, to vote against equal pay for equal work, to co-sponsor an amendment to block access to birth control, to support the Republican presidential and vice-presidential nominees, and then say, ‘Oh no, don't count me as part of that bigger Republican agenda,'” said Ms. Warren, later adding, “Scott Brown is in this one up to his neck.”

Ms. Warren made her commen ts at the Omni Parker House in Boston, at a news conference held to introduce a report by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a nonpartisan, progressive advocacy organization, calling the Romney-Ryan ticket “bad for women.”