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Will Obama Repudiate Smear Campaign?

Silence is complicity.

9:31 PM, Jan 16, 2010 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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So the Massachusetts Democratic Party is alleging, in a mailer, that "1,736 women were raped in Massachusetts in 2008. Scott Brown wants hospitals to turn them all away."

This is as ridiculous as it is offensive. And it is, of course, a lie. In fact, according to the Boston Globe:

"The 2005 amendment that Brown sponsored in the state Senate would have allowed a physician, nurse, or any other employee to deny rape victims an emergency contraceptive if it 'conflicts with a sincerely held religious belief.' The facility would have had to have someone else who could administer the contraceptive or refer the victim to another facility at no additional cost to the patient.

The amendment, which did not pass, was attached to a bill that he ultimately voted for, which required emergency rooms to provide the contraceptives to rape victims."

So, as Allahpundit summarizes, "He wanted a limited religious conscience exemption for ER workers, with no extra financial burden to victims, and when he didn't get it he voted to provide emergency contraception anyway. Translation: Scott Brown hates rape victims."

Pretty unbelievable. And decent people from both parties should denounce the smear.

But it's even more unbelievable because of these two facts:

1. The Senate health-care bill, which Martha Coakley favors, contains an abortion conscience clause.

Section 1303(a)(3)

(3) PROVIDER CONSCIENCE PROTECTIONS. No individual health care provider or
health care facility may be discriminated against because of a willingness or an unwillingness, if doing so is contrary to the religious or moral beliefs of the provider or facility, to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

2. And who supported these kind of conscience clauses? Ted Kennedy. In the letter he wrote to Pope Benedict before his death, Kennedy explained, "I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field and I'll continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone."

Will President Obama, who'll be in Massachusetts Sunday campaigning for Coakley, associate himself by his silence with these smear tactics? Or will he denounce them?

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