WBUR

Brown Counters Warren’s Charges That He Votes Against Women

Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Scott Brown speaks during a campaign event at Stachey's Pizza in North Andover Monday. (Elise Amendola/AP)

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown speaks during a campaign event at Stachey’s Pizza in North Andover Monday. (Elise Amendola/AP)

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is countering his Democratic opponent’s charges that he takes positions against women.

Winning over women is important for Brown. A WBUR poll conducted earlier this month finds him leading Elizabeth Warren by four points. And Brown has a 17-point lead among men. But Warren is winning the battle for women, with an eight-point lead.

Helping Brown in the battle for women voters is Laurie Myers, president of Community Voices, a group that advocates for victims of rape and domestic violence. On Monday, she endorsed Brown.

“The scare tactics that are involved, I think, have to stop, where, as women, we all know that Scott is pro-choice, but there are more choices out there,” she said. “We’ve got to think of our kids. We’ve got to think of our communities. We need jobs. We need the economy to do well.”

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren campaigns at the Puerto Rico Bakery in Springfield Monday. (Steven Senne/AP)

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren campaigns at the Puerto Rico Bakery in Springfield Monday. (Steven Senne/AP)

Myers first met Brown when he was a state senator. She would bring victims of violence to testify at the State House.

“One day, we walked into his office with a victim who was visibly upset and shaken, and he offered his office to us to calm her down, and we had an open-door policy with him after that, that we could just go in and sit if people needed to compose themselves after testimony,” Myers recalled.

Warren sent out an email Monday trying to raise money for Emily’s List. The group raises funds for Democratic women running for office who support legalized abortion. In her email, Warren said if contributors don’t send money, they could find themselves with six more years, in Warren’s words, “of Senator Brown voting against equal pay for women.”

“You know, I think it’s laughable,” Brown said. “She needs to stop scaring women.”

Brown, along with other Republican moderates, such as Maine’s Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, have voted against a recent Democratic proposal to mandate equal pay for women because they believe that it would cost jobs.

“Bottom line is we already have laws in effect right now to protect the pay for women,” Brown said.

Warren’s critique of Brown on issues affecting women is part of a campaign to persuade voters that this election is about which party controls the Senate.

“The next Supreme Court justice could overturn Roe v. Wade,” one of Warren’s recent television ads says. “One vote could make the difference: your vote against a Republican Senate, your vote for Elizabeth Warren.”

At her headquarters last week, Warren was joined by Sandra Fluke, the law student Rush Limbaugh called a “prostitute” for testifying in favor of insurance coverage of contraception. Fluke made the argument that Democratic control of the Senate is crucial to women’s rights.

“This race here in Massachusetts is important beyond Massachusetts,” Fluke said. “This is a race that could very well decide who controls the Senate for the next term. A vote for Scott Brown is a vote for a Republican majority.”

Tying Brown to his party seems to be working for Warren. The most recent WBUR poll shows 71 percent of Warren supporters say it’s very important which party controls the Senate; by comparison, 54 percent of Brown supporters feel that way.

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