Scott Brown criticizes his own party over anti-abortion plank

Senator Scott Brown today launched another high profile attempt to demonstrate his independence from the Republican Party platform, sending a letter to GOP leaders urging them “to recognize in its platform that you can be pro-choice and still be a good Republican.”

Brown’s letter to Party Chairman Reince Preibus comes as the committee drafting the Republican platform approved a draft that calls for a ban on abortion, without exceptions for rape and incest victims. It also comes as he faces attacks from his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, who warned today that electing Brown would empower a party that is hostile to women’s interests.

Brown, who supports abortion rights, was also among the first Republicans Monday to call on Representative Todd Akin to withdraw from the Missouri Senate race following controversial remarks about rape.

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Brown’s letter today urges the party to reconsider its abortion language.

“Media reports indicate that the Platform Committee will consider draft language opposing a woman’s right to choose and supporting a constitutional amendment banning abortion,” he wrote. “I believe this is a mistake because it fails to recognize the views of pro-choice Republicans like myself.”

He goes on to urge a “big tent” strategy.

“Even while I am pro-choice, I respect those who have a different opinion on this very difficult and sensitive issue,” he wrote. “Our party platform should make the same concession to those of us who believe in a woman’s right to choose.”

Warren, meanwhile, has been blasting Brown, warning that his election could turn the Senate over to Republicans who oppose abortion rights, seek to defund Planned Parenthood, and want to repeal President Obama’s health care law.

“He’s trying to advance a group that would have a profound effect on women,” Warren said at an event at the Omni Parker House on Beacon Hill. “Republicans are laying out their larger agenda and women must pay attention.”