Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and his chief Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren are launching dueling radio ads on the question of federally mandated contraception coverage.
In her ad, Warren argues that an amendment backed by Brown would threaten women's access to contraception, mammograms and even maternity care.
The amendment allows employers or health insurers to deny coverage for services they say violates their moral or religious beliefs.
"President Obama already made sure that religious institutions can’t be forced to cover birth control," Warren's ad says. "But the president also made sure that women can get the health care they need. That's the right approach."
Brown never mentions contraception in his ad, but says the amendment would guarantee religious liberty, especially for Roman Catholics.
Brown's ad cites both the Pilgrims and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy as he calls a conscience exemption a matter of fundamental fairness.
"I believe it's possible to provide people with access to the health care they want, while at the same time protecting the rights of Americans to follow their religious beliefs," Brown's ad says.
Obama has offered a proposal to allow workers at religious affiliated institutions to get free contraception directly from insurers.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This article was originally published on February 23, 2012.
This program aired on February 23, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.