Over the past few days we’ve received numerous fliers on behalf of the two major-party Senate candidates, Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown. Somehow, though, this one eluded us: a nasty piece of work put out by the Democratic State Committee accusing Brown of wanting to turn away rape victims from hospitals.
The truth about Brown and rape victims is bad enough. Under an amendment Brown unsuccessfully sponsored in the Massachusetts Senate in 2005, hospitals and individual health-care workers would have been allowed to refuse rape victims emergency contraception on the grounds that such contraception amounts to abortion. Brown has waffled on the subject during the past week, and his supporters have ludicrously claimed that insisting health-care workers do their jobs is a form of anti-Catholic discrimination.
But that hardly adds up to this:
1,736 WOMEN WERE RAPED IN MASSACHUSETTS IN 2008. SCOTT BROWN WANTS HOSPITALS TO TURN THEM ALL AWAY.
As I said, the flier was produced not by the Coakley campaign but by the Democratic State Committee. I don’t know whether or not the campaign and the party are legally able to coordinate their efforts. But I think there’s a good chance Coakley didn’t know this was coming.
Should she denounce it? Yes. Will she? Probably not.
On the other hand, it looks like the Brown campaign is going to overplay the hand it’s been dealt. According to an e-mail posted at Red Mass Group, the campaign plans to file a “criminal complaint” about the ad. Sen. Brown, meet Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Then again, I’m not surprised that Brown would take this gift the Democrats have handed him and turn it into another example of his reverence for the Constitution — and his contempt for its actual provisions.