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Brown defends pro-choice record in TV ad, responding to Shaheen attack

Republican Scott Brown is launching a new ad today affirming his “pro-choice” stance and defending himself against a sharp TV attack that began airing Tuesday from his US Senate rival, incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.

In measured tones, Brown notes Shaheen’s ad “calling into question my support for women’s health care” and tells viewers he wants them to know the facts.

“I’m pro-choice,” Brown says directly to camera, with soft music in the background. “I support continued funding for Planned Parenthood, and I believe women should have access to contraception.”

Brown continues by saying that after six years of voting with President Obama, Shaheen has “resorted to a smear campaign.”


On Tuesday Shaheen began airing a potent 30-second spot in which a narrator says: “In Massachusetts, Scott Brown pushed for a law to force women considering abortion — force them — to look at color photographs of developing fetuses. Scott Brown wants the government to tell women how to make this decision.”

The ad is part of a larger effort by Shaheen to paint Brown as untrustworthy on issues important to women.

Later Tuesday, Brown said the ad is false and called for Shaheen to take it down off the airwaves. His new TV spot is a continuation of that effort pushing back against Shaheen’s narrative.

Campaigns often work to blunt a potentially damaging attack from an opponent by releasing an ad of their own with a countervailing storyline. Indeed, after Brown attacked Shaheen as disengaged on foreign policy in a recent ad, her campaign quietly started airing an ad of its own referencing Brown’s ad and defending her record.

Also Wednesday, both campaigns released their respective fundraising numbers for the third quarter — July, August, September — of 2014. Shaheen’s campaign said she brought in more than $3.5 million and ended Sept 30 with $3.5 million in cash on hand. Brown’s campaign said it pulled in more than $3.6 million, according to NH Journal. Federal campaign finance filings are due later this month.


Shaheen, a former governor, and Brown, a former Massachusetts US senator, are locked in a competitive battle that is among those that will determine whether Republicans pick up enough seats to take back control of the US Senate from Democrats. The general election is Nov. 4.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.