The backlash against the decision by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to sever its ties to Planned Parenthood over abortion politics amplified today as members of Congress called on the group to reverse its decision.
U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) took to Twitter where she promised to continue to fight on behalf of and support Planned Parenthood. Baldwin is a tireless advocate for women’s health and breast cancer prevention in particular and has worked closely with a broad coalition of interests including former President Bush and even Komen Foundation.
In Washington, 27 Democratic Senators signed on to a strongly worded letter urging the group to change its course. The letter explicitly raises the “possibility of thousands of women losing access to a potentially life-saving screenings because of a politically motivated attack.”
The letter is signed by Senators Lautenberg, Murray, Mikulski, Boxer, Cantwell, Gillibrand, Menedez, Wyden, Blumenthal, Shaheen, Begich, Merkley, Tester, Akaka, Sanders, (Sherrod) Brown, Leahy, Baucus, Cardin, Feinstein, Franken, Kerry and others. It’s a broad coalition of conservative and liberal Democrats that is indicative of how unpopular this decision is.
So far Republican Senators have been less eager to come to the defense of the Komen Foundation, with the exception of David Vitter who is eager to attach his name to the controversy. But if Republicans feel the need to respond, that could amplify the political stakes for Komen considerably.
The unfortunate truth though, as pointed out by Baldwin, is that it’s the politicization of women’s lives does nothing but divide women and risk lives. This is an issue that didn’t have to be.
Photo from Tammy Baldwin For Senate