Can a pro-life voter support Scott Brown? Here’s what Bob Smith said in September

Bob Smith
Former New Hampshire U.S. Senator Bob Smith

From Bob Smith’s statement at the New Hampshire GOP Unity Breakfast after the primary, 9/12/14:

Yesterday, I spoke at length with Scott Brown and informed him of many of my concerns regarding the issues where we differ. As difficult as it was for me, I offered my support and told him that I looked forward to celebrating his victory in November. Senator Brown pledged to reach out to me on issues of disagreement, but we both agreed that sending Shaheen back to the Senate to support Obama would be a disaster for our country and would do nothing to enhance the conservative cause.

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Poll result: The natives are restless

A hundred and sixteen people chimed in on Leaven for the Loaf’s unscientific poll about the U.S. Senate race. It’s fair to say that no consensus emerged.

If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, for whom would you vote?

  • Scott Brown 31.03%
  • Jeanne Shaheen 1.72% (two whole votes!)

And that leaves 67.25% who are not going to back either of the major candidates. It’s a close race, if the real polls are to be believed. Someone’s going to be sorry about not attracting those pro-life votes. Or maybe – and this might be a stretch – someone’s already getting ready to whine about how social conservatives cost the Republican a seat.

(Just a thought: If social conservatives in general and pro-lifers in particular are truly valued by a candidate, they won’t be treated as scapegoats.)

How about the two-thirds of poll respondents who didn’t pick Shaheen or Brown?

  • Write in an unspecified pro-life candidate: 22.41%
  • Write in an unspecified candidate for an issue other than life: 12.93%
  • Leave that spot on the ballot blank: 6.9%
  • Other (specified): 25%

Interesting collection of “others”: 16 votes for John Stark (the gang at GraniteGrok will be happy to hear this), 3 votes for John Langdon (ditto), 4 for Bob Smith, two “write in None of the Above,” two “holding my nose” (but then voting for whom???), one for Russ Payne, and one “hate Brown, hate Shaheen more.” Make of that what you will.

NH’s U.S. Senate race: what’s your preference?

(For poll result, see “The Natives are Restless.”)

As if it’s not obvious, this is a thoroughly unscientific poll. If the election were held today, how would you vote in New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race on November 4? Optional: leave a comment on this post about your choice. Share the poll on social media with your pro-life contacts. I want to hear from pro-life voters, although there’s no way to restrict participation by others. Let’s see if anything turns up here that’s not being reflected in campaign coverage so far.

Cringe-worthy ads from Shaheen and Brown

I didn’t get to my TV remote’s Mute button fast enough to cut off Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s ad. She used the term “anti-choice.” She was apparently referring to anyone who disagrees with her on any aspect of abortion and the right to life. This was her own ad, not paid for by an outside PAC.

That’s how she treats her constituents, New Hampshire residents, who disagree with her: she slaps a label on them and figuratively files them away.

Anyone who disagrees with her about keeping abortion legal throughout pregnancy, anyone who favors parental involvement in an adolescent girl’s decision about her pregnancy, anyone who denies abortion providers a share of public money, anyone who helped make partial-birth abortion illegal in New Hampshire, anyone who stands in peaceful (even silent) pro-life witness outside an abortion facility: anti-choice.

New Hampshire residents deserve better than being called names by their senior U.S. senator.

Name-calling and labeling haven’t stopped pro-life activists before, and they won’t stop us now. Still, there’s only a certain amount of contempt I’ll tolerate from an elected official before I make a priority of electing someone else.

As for Scott Brown, star of a cringe-worthy new ad in which he says he’s pro-choice AND he’ll fund Planned Parenthood (not “let them bid on state contracts,” mind you, but straight “fund PP”), his advantage over Shaheen to my jaundiced eye is that electing him will stop Shaheen’s further accrual of seniority and influence. That’s enough for me, although Brown still has three weeks to drive away potential supporters. If he backs away from Blunt-Amendment-style conscience protections for employers who don’t want to help pay for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs under Obamacare, his me-too will be complete. A nauseating prospect, that.

I shared a meal recently with a good-sized group of New Hampshire pro-lifers (a mix of GOP and independents, politically active, most from the state’s southern tier), and I found that their support for Brown ranges from shaky to nonexistent. For many of them, how they’ll vote in the U.S. Senate race will be a game-time decision. Sadly, Brown’s I’m-pro-choice ad cost him a lot of good will among people who have every reason to want to retire Shaheen.

Given the indisputable fact that there is no pro-life candidate in this race, I’m voting for the candidate who will have less seniority in the Senate if elected. Based on the conversations I’ve had, that’s not the prevailing view among local pro-life activists. Another cringe-worthy ad from the challenger is all it will take to alienate them altogether.


Looking forward to your comments below!


Not forcing you to look, Senator(s)

I’m warning you up front: I am NOT forcing you to scroll down to the bottom of this page. Nope. Not me. I will NOT force anyone to see the image that New Hampshire’s senior senator finds so scary. This is, after all, a kinder, gentler blog than the kind in which you’ll find abortion advocates described as “bat-guano crazy.” “Crazy” is such a freighted word. No, I’ll just NOT force you to scroll down.

I laughed through heartache yesterday as candidate Scott Brown stopped just short of jumping up and down and saying “I am TOO!” to Jeanne Shaheen’s claims that he just ain’t pro-abortion enough. Excuse me, “pro-choice.” He had the unmitigated gall to support an informed consent bill in the Massachusetts legislature back in 2005 when he was just a wee lad. He apparently thought then that pro-choice and pro-information were perfectly compatible positions. Makes sense to me. Not to abortion advocates, though.

Shaheen has an ad out now – the one to which Brown was objecting yesterday – announcing in dark tones that Brown would “force” women to look at fetal pictures, since part of the Massachusetts informed consent bill would have required that abortion providers give a woman the opportunity to take a look at images conveying the size, formation and gestational age of her fetus (has a tender ring to it, no?) before proceeding with termination of said fetus. Not bloody baby pictures, mind you. Not, in spite of Shaheen’s claims, forced viewing. Just providing the images for a woman to consider. Informed consent. Get it? This reminds me of the inserts we all get when we have prescriptions filled. Show of hands: how many of us actually read all that verbiage? That’s what I thought. Just give me the medication. The pharmacist and the prescribing provider OWE me full information about the drug. They just can’t make me read it. Informed consent, not forced viewing.

Shaheen knows she would sound like a patronizing schoolmarm if she were to suggest that women are too delicate for such intimate self-knowledge as knowing what’s inside our uteruses, so she is resorting to accusations that Brown is somehow anti-woman. This is all of a piece with the Senate Majority PAC’s ad saying “Scott Brown will restrict women’s access to health care” because he is not in favor of compulsory universal taxpayer funding of abortion.

Hence the spectacle of Brown fighting back. In one sense, good for him. He’s the only high-level Republican candidate in New Hampshire this year who has hit back on way-out-there claims by abortion advocates. Right attitude, even if he has the wrong answer. He’s out there, just not way out there, is what I hear him saying. He knows that for a woman concerned about access to abortion, jobs-and-the-economy is just a diversionary squirrel.

This is a defensive election. Neither of New Hampshire’s major candidates for U.S. Senate is pro-life. Incumbent Shaheen needs to be retired, though. I won’t leave that spot on the ballot blank, and I’m not writing in anyone. I don’t want to explain to anyone how a woman opposed to informed consent and in favor of compulsory universal taxpayer funding of abortion got elected yet again. She’s pro-women’s health? I don’t see it. Pro-women-who-agree-with-her is more like it. She wants abortion providers to operate in a regulation-free environment; you may recall that as governor she signed repeal of New Hampshire’s antiquated nineteenth-century abortion laws, knowing that nothing was there to replace them. In perhaps the sharpest distinction between her and Brown, however, she opposes the conscience rights of individuals (including female business owners) who don’t want to be forced into helping provide abortion-inducing drugs and devices under Obamacare. And then there’s her contempt for Catholic women who take issue with being forced to pay for other women’s contraception. Out, I say.

Look at it this way: in New Hampshire, I could set up shop as an abortion provider, right in my own home. (If Kermit Gosnell ever gets out of prison, he could go right back to his butchery just by moving from Pennsylvania to the Granite State, and he wouldn’t even have to rent an office.) As long as I didn’t hold myself out as a medical professional, I’d be clear of fraud accusations. As long as I had an abortion-minded woman’s permission to perform the abortion, I’d wouldn’t be subject to assault charges. It would be nice if I had a clean environment for her, but if she said she didn’t care about anything but ending her pregnancy, I’d be off the hook. Disgusting, but that’s the law. Nothing in New Hampshire law says an abortion provider has to be qualified in any way. Medical professionals who provide abortion must answer to state boards and medical societies, but non-professionals don’t. Women’s health? Abortion  providers, amateurs and pros alike, enjoy protection that abortion-minded women are denied. Don’t blame me. This is Shaheen’s doing, and it’s been ratified ever since by legislators who have rejected informed-consent-for-abortion laws.

Scott Brown has no trouble with any woman who wants to abort. He just thinks – or at any rate he thought in 2005 – that women have the right to know what’s involved.

The 2005-vintage Brown wasn’t afraid to offer images like this to abortion-minded women. Those women would have been free to say “no” to the offer, under the Massachusetts bill that has Shaheen in such a snit.

Human fetus, 7 weeks. (Priests for Life photo)
Human fetus, 7 weeks. (Priests for Life photo)

Scary as hell, isn’t it? Scarier. That little image could stand between Jeanne Shaheen and her next term as Senator. No wonder she wants it kept out of view.