BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts U.S. Senate challenger Elizabeth Warren said Tuesday that policies outlined by Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his running mate will hurt women.
Warren, a Democrat, spoke in support of a new study by the Center for American Progress Action Fund on how policies promoted by Romney and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will affect women.
The report — "Mitt Romney: Bad for Women" — is part of a series of analyses into the presidential candidate's policies, said center Executive Director Tara McGuinness. The Washington D.C.-based group is nonpartisan.
The report says Romney's policies would cut jobs in the women-dominated public sector, doing nothing to improve women's wages, and would raise taxes on working women. It argues that Romney's policies would negatively affect health care for women because he has expressed support for outlawing abortion and has pledged to repeal the new federal health care law.
Warren told reporters the Republican agenda would weaken women's health and finances and move the country "backwards."
"We must not turn back the clock," Warren said. "These are discussions that we might've had in 1952, it is shocking that this is the Republican agenda in 2012."
She also threw jabs at her opponent, U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, saying his actions and votes in Congress show he is in line with the Republican agenda.
Warren pointed to her Republican rival's party-line vote against legislation that aims to strengthen the Fair Labor Standards Act's protections against pay inequities based on gender and his support for the "Blunt amendment" that would have allowed employers to refuse coverage of services, such as birth control coverage, for "moral reasons."
"Scott Brown has been in the middle, so Scott Brown can't just back-off and try to have it both ways," she said. "He is part of that bigger Republican agenda."
Brown spokesman Colin Reed said the freshman senator is an "independent thinker" who has a proven bipartisan record.
Brown, who supports abortion rights, sent a letter Tuesday to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, urging the party to embrace different points of view on abortion and a woman's right to choose.
In the letter, Brown asks party leaders to send the message to voters that the Republican Party is open to different perspectives on abortion. He sets himself apart from the traditional Republican stance on the issue, saying that the party's platform isn't necessarily for every candidate and that he will run his own platform in Massachusetts.
"The Republican Party would be well-served to recognize in its platform that you can be pro-choice and still be a good Republican," he wrote.