Politics

Group sends fliers falsely claiming Scott Brown opposes abortion

Republican candidate for Senate Scott Brown.
Brian Snyder/REUTERS
Republican candidate for Senate Scott Brown.

A national antiabortion group said Friday that it made a mistake by sending fliers to an undetermined number of New Hampshire voters that falsely claim Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown wants to ban abortion.

The flier from the Virginia-based National Pro-Life Alliance could be a headache for Brown, who has been strongly proclaiming his support for abortion rights amid attacks by his Democratic rival, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who argues that his record on the issue is mixed.

The flier indicates that Brown answered “yes” to 10 questions posed by the group, including one asking whether he would support a Constitutional amendment banning abortion except if the mother’s life were at risk.

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The flier also incorrectly indicates that Brown would support a law defining life as beginning at the moment of conception.

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In fact, neither Brown nor Shaheen responded to the group’s questionnaire, Mark Elsasser, the alliance’s director of legislation, said Friday.

The flier, however, only indicates that Shaheen failed to respond to the questionnaire. Brown’s answers are all marked with a “Y” for yes.

“It was an internal error,” Elsasser said. “We are concerned there is misinformation on that roster.”

Elizabeth Guyton, a Brown campaign spokeswoman, released a statement saying “Scott Brown is pro-choice. Our campaign did not complete this survey, these are not his positions, and we are working with the organization to have this false information withdrawn and the record corrected.”

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Elsasser said the flier was mailed to the group’s members in New Hampshire, but he was not sure how many are in that group. The alliance claims 650,000 members nationwide, he said.

He said that, while the flier contained false information, it was accompanied by a separate letter from the group that correctly pointed out neither Brown not Shaheen responded to the group’s questionnaire.

Asked if the alliance was going to do anything to correct the record, Elsasser said, “Whenever anyone has been calling in, we’ve been letting them know.”

Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@globe. com. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.