Yesterday Massachusetts senator Scott Brown was interrupted in his fence-sitting by a vote on federal funding of Planned Parenthood. He voted against defunding the organization.
Now, it’s possible to distinguish between funding abortions and funding an organization that performs abortions, which Brown tries to do. It’s also possible to try to stake out a middle ground by claiming to be pro-choice but against taxpayer funding of abortion, as Brown has done.
But those positions are flimsy at best. Money is fungible, meaning that any money that goes to an abortionist in some way supports the work of that abortionist. And if there is nothing wrong with abortion, which is the pro-life position, there’s no reason not to treat it as any other medical procedure that taxpayers regularly pay for through Medicare, Medicaid, etc.
In other words, it’s hard to believe that Brown had really reconciled those positions in his mind during his Senate campaign. So his failure to cast the pro-life vote on Planned Parenthood shouldn’t have come as a total shock.
Indeed, Mass Citizens for Life is not surprised, stating in a release: “The vote to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood failed, 42-58. Sen. Brown voted against. Yes it is a disappointment. Does it mean that Sen. Brown went against anything he promised before or after his election? No!”
A vote that could prevent a massively pro-abortion bill, such as Obamacare, from becoming law could be a strategically pro-life vote, as many pro-life voters thought was the case in Brown’s election. But that doesn’t mean that Brown should be thought of as a pro-life senator.