Why Does Republican Senate Candidate Scott Brown Hate Rape Victims?
This first appeared on Air America Radio
Republican candidate Scott Brown, running to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, has a problem with more than just Martha Coakley. As Coakley's new ad points out, he also has a problem with rape victims.
From Sarah Palin denying funds to reimburse hospitals for performing forensic rape examinations to the 30 Senate Republicans who voted against allowing rape victims their day in court, the new Republican party tough-on-crime platform is, apparently, that rape victims ought to have rights, as long as they don't interfere with the rights of people in Wasilla who prefer lower taxes, businesses or super-devout (and, possibly, Deuteronomy-loving) Christians or .
Scott Brown falls into, at a minimum, the latter camp. In 2005, he sponsored legislation to allow doctors and nurses to turn away rape victims from Massachusetts emergency rooms if they objected to providing rape victims with emergency contraception. He said:
“Through our conversations, I’ve heard, ‘what if somebody has a sincerely held religious conviction about dispensing the emergency contraception medication? What about their rights? How do we address those?’ ’’ Brown said on the Senate floor, according to a State House News Service transcript.
Brown added that a rape victim would be referred to another facility at no additional cost. “It’s not about the victim."
Brown, who probably has not been sexually assaulted, let alone driven by ambulance or police car to an emergency room only to be turned away by medical professionals who profess to value their religion over your physical health, thinks that laws governing the provision of government-funded services to victims of sexual assault aren't "about" the victim. It's about what makes the Christian medical professionals most comfortable. I am certain that a victim raped in Lee, Massachusetts who endures the 11 mile drive to the hospital in Great Barrington only to be turned away by a Christian emergency room nurse (who objects to emergency contraception she herself doesn't have to take) wouldn't mind at all then going to a hospital in Pittsfield (21 miles), Hudson, NY (27 miles) or Westfield (47 miles) in order to get the medical care she needs, as long as it's a free ride. There's nothing like a person who morally objects to your presence in her place of employment after you've been sexually assault to assist you in coping with your trauma.
If Brown wins the Senate, he'll be in good company, however. Senators from Mitch McConnell to noted prostitution enthusiast David Vitter all objected to legislation that would have forced U.S. contractors to allow their employees who are sexually assaulted to have their day in court on the grounds that it would inconvenience and possibly cost those companies money. We wouldn't want sexual assault to be inconvenient for other people, after all. As Scott Brown said, "It's not about the victim."