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Brown Radio Ad: Like Kennedy, I Support Conscience Exemption

11:41 AM, Feb 24, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Republican senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts has a new 60-second radio ad in which he discusses his support for a religious exemption to Obamacare mandates. You can listen to the ad here.

"Religious freedom has always been one of our most precious rights," Brown says in the ad. He continues:

It’s what brought the Pilgrims to our shores, hundreds of years ago, so they could freely practice their faith. That’s why I’m concerned about a new federal mandate forcing religious organizations to offer insurance coverage for practices that go against the teachings of their church. Such a requirement flies in the face of our basic values of religious tolerance. Like Ted Kennedy before me, I support a conscience exemption in health care for Catholics and other people of faith. I believe it’s possible to provided people with access to the health care they want while at the same time protecting the rights of Americans to follow their religious beliefs. For me, the conscience exemption is a matter of fundamental fairness and a right to be protected for all Americans of every party and every faith.

Brown also penned an op-ed for today's Boston Globe on these same points. Here's an excerpt:

My predecessor, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, believed just as I do. In a 2009 letter to Pope Benedict XVI, he expressed his support for a conscience exemption: “I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health care field and will continue to advocate for it.’’

My opponent Elizabeth Warren wants to take us in a different direction. She tells us, in so many words, that a mandate is a mandate, and Catholics and others just need to do as they are told. She has endorsed this intrusion on freedom of conscience, and proclaims herself “shocked’’ that I or anyone else could disagree. Such a dismissive mindset is no more appealing coming from the left than it is coming from the right.

This year, Brown is in a tight race to save his Senate seat against likely Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren. According to RealClearPolitics, Brown and Warren are statistically tied, but a recent Suffolk poll found Brown nine points ahead of Warren. 

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