Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) joined fellow Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME), who voiced their opposition earlier this month to House Republicans' efforts to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding.
"I support family planning and health services for women," said Brown, who's up for reelection next year in liberal Massachusetts. "Given our severe budget problems, I don't believe any area of the budget is completely 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 that is reasonable and appropriate."
The Boston Globe notes: "House Republicans have sought to eliminate all federal grants and contracts with Planned Parenthood, some $300 million, because the agency provides abortion services. By law, none of the federal money can be used to pay for abortions, but abortion-rights opponents have argued that any financial support for Planned Parenthood frees up other money that could be used for abortions."
*** UPDATE *** The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee points out that Brown voted in favor of the GOP budget plan two weeks ago, thereby voting for the Planned Parenthood cuts that were in that budget. The DSCC writes in a press release:
"Scott Brown made headlines today by flip-flopping and now claiming that he opposes efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. But the truth is that Brown voted to defund Planned Parenthood just two weeks ago as part of his vote for the Republican budget. If he was against cutting funding for cervical cancer screenings, breast exams and disease prevention, why did he vote with Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment to strip funding for these basically health services?
“If Scott Brown felt this way, he should have shown some backbone and opposed these cuts in the first place,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Matt Canter. “Instead he did what he always does and stood in lock step with the Republican establishment in Washington DC, voting to cut funding for 800 women’s health care clinics across the country, including more than a half dozen in Massachusetts. Scott Brown is not who he says he is. He votes with Mitch McConnell 98 percent of the time, and Massachusetts voters deserve better.”