The Spectacle Blog

Thoughts on Scott Brown & Planned Parenthood

By on 3.23.11 | 9:48PM

With respect to Senator Scott Brown's unwillingness to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, John Guardiano writes, "Sure I understand that Brown faces re-election in overwhelmingly liberal Democrat Massachusetts. No one expects him to be a stalwart advocate for unborn children. But is it really asking him too much for him to oppose appropriating taxpayer funds to subsidize abortion?"

But is it really fair to say that Brown supports appropriating taxpayer funds to subidize abortion? Consider Brown's statement on the matter 48 hours ago:

I support family planning and health services for women. Given our severe budget problems, I don't believe any area of the budget is 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 which is reasonable and appropriate.

While Brown opposed to federal funding for abortion during his Senate run last year I don't think anything in his statement changes that position. Even if one objects to Planned Parenthood for providing abortion services it isn't the only service they provide. Thus it is entirely possible to continue to oppose federal funding for abortion but to continue to support federal funding for other services such as breast cancer screening.

Of course, the flip side to that argument is if federal funds are allocated to Planned Parenthood what is to prevent them from diverting funds intended for mammograms into abortion services? Well, nothing really. So while it's possible that Brown might not intend for Planned Parenthood to receive federal funding for abortion whatever compromise he might be involved with could end up doing so anyway.

For his part, Guardiano isn't calling for conservatives here in Massachusetts to dump Brown - at least not yet. He writes, "At some point, after all, conservatives must conclude that it is better to lose on principle than to win by jettisoning core beliefs."

It might very well come to that. But do Bay State conservatives really want Deval Patrick or Mike "Let's Get a Little Bloody" Capuano to be their next Senator?

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