FRAMINGHAM – Today, Massachusetts State Senators Katherine Clark and Karen Spilka hosted a conference call to discuss Scott Brown’s support for the Republican agenda, and the ways in which it would be devastating to women and their families.
From the Blunt amendment to higher taxes for the middle class, from refighting the health care battles of the past three years to voting against bills that would create jobs for women, Scott Brown has stood with the Republicans to advance their anti-women agenda every step of the way.
"Scott Brown and the Republicans don't believe in equal pay for equal work, don't believe we should be creating jobs by putting our teachers back to work, and they don't believe in policies that will protect working women and their families," said Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). "Their agenda is damaging for women across the country and it has to be stopped. We can't let them take the White House and the Senate, and allow Scott Brown and the Republicans to take us backwards."
"Scott Brown and his Republican cohorts want to drag us through another ideological battle over health care reform,” said Senator Katherine Clark (D-Medford). “They want to refight old battles and take away key health care protections for women. They also want to pass the Blunt amendment to restrict access to birth control and put our health care choices in the hands of our employer. The Republican agenda on women is wrong for Massachusetts, and wrong for the country."
The state senators discussed a number of ways in which the Brown-Romney-Ryan agenda would harm Massachusetts women, including:
Equal Pay: The Paycheck Fairness Act that Brown voted against and Mitt Romney has yet to support would help close the gap in pay between men and women, and move us closer to equal pay for equal work. The plan ensures that differences in pay come about only as a result of relevant job-related factors like education, training, or experience, rather than gender. Scott Brown joined his Republican colleagues in opposing the bill that increases protection against retaliation and strengthens enforcement mechanisms to ensure women are paid what they deserve [Vote 115, 6/5/12; Vote 249, 11/17/10; Worcester Telegram, 6/25/12].
Health Care: If Brown and the Republicans take the Senate and the Romney-Ryan ticket wins the White House, the Republican Party will make an all-out partisan effort to refight the health care battles of the last three years. Rather than focusing on implementing the law and bringing down the costs of health care, they would bog us down in this ideological fight once again.
Women across Massachusetts now have access to preventive services such as mammograms, cervical cancer testing, cholesterol screenings, and flu shots, free of charge, as part of their insurance coverage. The provisions of the law that went into effect at the beginning of the month will also provide women with additional services including domestic violence screening and counseling, contraceptive education, sexually transmitted infections counseling, and HIV screening and counseling [Boston Globe, 7/29/12]. Brown, Romney and Ryan would refight the health care battle and push to repeal the legislation, adding to the cost of preventive care.
Access to Birth Control: Brown and Romney both strongly support an amendment from a Senator in Missouri that could allow employers and big insurance companies to eliminate key health care services, including birth control.
The amendment would take women’s health care choices away from them and put employers and big insurance companies in charge. While President Obama has led the charge to provide key health care services to women, Brown and Romney have fought hard to curtail those rights and limit coverage [Vote 24, 3/1/12; The Boston Globe, 2/18/12; Washington Post, 2/29/12].
Jobs: Scott Brown joined his Republican colleagues in opposing legislation that would have meant jobs for women. He joined his Senate Republican colleagues to block the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act, which would have supported thousands of jobs in Massachusetts [Vote 177, 10/20/11]. The legislation would not have added a dime to our deficit while ensuring that classrooms across the commonwealth were filled with qualified and capable teachers.
Taxes: Scott Brown, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are all holding tax cuts for women and their families hostage in order to get even bigger breaks for millionaires. Brown voted against legislation to extend tax cuts for 98% of families, and to reduce eligibility and the size of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. These credits are targeted at working families and can significantly lessen the tax burden for single mothers. Brown also voted against saving the American Opportunity Tax Credit that provides up to $2,500 in tax credits to mothers and their families who have children attending college, to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans [Roll Call Vote 184, 7/25/12; Boston Globe, 7/25/12].