Friday August 24, 2012

BOSTON

There's an old saying in campaigns that goes something like "the more desperate a candidate gets, the uglier and more misleading their attacks be come." Unfortunately, the Sen ate race in Massachusetts is no exception to the rule, as this week my opponent launched a campaign of distortion about my record of supporting women.

I take this personally, because as a husband of 26 years and the father of two wonderful daughters, I have been a strong advocate for women's issues in the Senate, often breaking party ranks and building bipartisan support for legislation that women care deeply about. I am pro-choice and support a woman's right to choose. There are people of goodwill on both sides of this issue, but I believe that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, and that a woman should be able to make what is a very personal and difficult decision in consultation with her doctor and family.

In fact, when Todd Akin, a Senate candidate in Missouri, recently made outrageous comments about abortion and rape, I was the first to publicly call on him to end his candidacy for the Senate. There is no place in our society for his kind of insulting and ignorant rhetoric that demeans women everywhere.

In the Senate, I've backed up my words with action. I believe it is wrong that women in the military who suffer the horrible tragedy of rape currently have to pay for their own abortions. That's why I have been working with Republicans and Demo crats to change the law, earning praise from the New York Times for the effort. And when Republicans sought to defund Planned Parenthood, I fought the effort and voted to preserve funding so women can continue to benefit from family planning and health services.

As someone who experienced the horror of domestic violence as a young boy, I've also been a leading supporter of the Violence Against Women Act, which funds programs to help domestic violence victims and boost law enforcement efforts to prosecute offenders. I broke with my party so the bill could pass in the Senate.

Perhaps no issue affects women more than the bad economy. There are nearly 6 million women who are unemployed today, and the poverty rate among women is on the rise. My opponent, Elizabeth Warren, would make matters worse. She has adopted a hostile attitude toward businesses. As the originator of the "You didn't build that" philosophy, she believes that government is responsible for the success of the private economy and the way to create jobs is to raise taxes and increase spending.

As if the current jobs crisis didn't make things difficult enough, sadly, too many wo men still face pay or hiring discrimination. As a father of two young women at the start of their careers, I do not tolerate the idea that they, or any woman, would be treated any differently than a man in the workplace. I believe employers who discriminate should be prosecuted aggressively under the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act, and I support equal pay for women in the workplace. I also support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which became law in 2009 and allows women who suffered pay discrimination to take their case to court.

I am the son of a single mom who often worked multiple jobs just to put food on the table. My wife Gail has been a working mother our whole married life, and my daughters are now beginning their careers. Like every family, we talk about social and economic issues that affect their lives, and I take my personal experiences with me when I vote in the Senate. I've been blessed to be surrounded by strong and ambitious women. I am a better senator for it, and I will continue to fight to advance issues important to their health, safety and equality.

Scott Brown is the Republican U.S. senator from Massachusetts.