January 15, 2010
GOP Candidate Takes Lead in New Mass. Senate Race Poll
Republican state Senator Scott Brown is leading Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley by 50 percent to 46 percent, according to a Suffolk University/7News poll. Massachusetts voters will vote on Tuesday to fill the Senate seat made vacant by Senator Ted Kennedy's death. If Brown wins, he could impact health care legislation by preventing Senate Democrats from breaking a filibuster.
The conscience clause, where health care workers workers can opt out of offering services like contraception if the workers are morally against it, has become a contentious issue in the campaign.
In a recent interview, Coakley suggested to radio host Ken Pittman that Catholics should not work in emergency rooms.
Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don't want to do that.
Coakley: No we have a seperation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.
Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.
Coakley: (pause) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn't work in the emergency room.
Thirty-nine percent of people in Massachusetts are Catholic, according to the latest American Religious Identification Survey.
Earlier this week, Brown's daughters protested a television ad where Coakley noted that Brown proposed a 2005 legislative amendment that would have allowed workers at religious hospitals to avoid giving emergency contraception to rape victims.
This is how the Boston Globe described Brown's views on abortion:
Brown is "Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, and I don't plan on overturning it, but I've always felt that, you know, I'm against partial-birth abortions and believe in parental consent, a strong parental notification law,'' Brown said, adding that he would not apply an abortion rights litmus test in Supreme Court confirmations.