Greg Sargent uncovered this story:
This is absolutely brutal: Massachusetts Dems have dropped a mail piece accusing GOP Senate candidate Scott Brown of wanting hospitals to turn away “all” rape victims.
The mail piece — sent over by the Brown campaign — shows pictures of women who are supposed to have been raped, one of them in a wheelchair bent over with her head in her hands. It says: “1,736 WOMEN WERE RAPED IN MASSACHUSETTS IN 2008. SCOTT BROWN WANTS HOSPITALS TO TURN THEM ALL AWAY.”
This turns out to be a reference to Scott Brown’s support, in 2005, for an amendment that would have allowed hospital personnel who oppose emergency contraception for religious reasons to withhold information about it from rape victims. However, this is, to say the least, an incomplete picture of the truth. First of all, the law in question, is not specifically identified in the mailer. Instead, the mailer sources the claim to “a law to let emergency hospitals turn away rape victims in need of emergency contraception.” That’s the law (apparently) that Brown supported in 2005, but as described above, that law created a “conscience exemption” to allow emergency room staff to withhold information about the morning-after pill to rape victims. Allowing hospital personnel to refuse to tell rape victims about emergency contraception or give it to them if they ask for it, as repellent and heinous as I personally believe such a refusal to be, is clearly not the same thing as allowing hospital personnel to “turn away rape victims” from emergency rooms.
Also, as Greg reports, there is additional information not mentioned in the Democratic mailer that increases its deceptiveness (my bolds):
As Coakley’s own Web site says, after Brown’s amendment was rejected, he voted in favor of the bill to require emergency rooms to provide rape victims with emergency contraceptives, and the whole debate seems to be more nuanced than the mailer suggests.
I know campaigns get dirty, but this is pretty deplorable, in my view.