01 February 2012

The Maddow Blog - Vitter boasts about Komen move

What can make the politics of Komen for the Cure's Planned Parenthood decision look worse? Have a scandal-plagued, right-wing senator take credit for the decision.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) ... lauded Komen's action, saying: "This is a welcome, long-overdue decision that will make Komen more effective in the fight against breast cancer, which is why I wrote a letter to Komen's founder and CEO last May urging her to take this step." [...]

Vitter had sent a letter to Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker urging her to end Komen's association with Planned Parenthood and give the grant money directly to mammogram providers.

Vitter is perhaps best known for running as a "family values" conservative who was later caught hiring prostitutes.

The senator's boasts notwithstanding, Komen's decision has caused quite an uproar. Planned Parenthood's supporters have responded by contributing $400,000 to the health organization in just one day. (By some estimates, that figure is even higher.) That doesn't make up for the loss of $700,000 in grants, but after one day, it's close.

Even one of Komen's own affiliates is outraged.

The Connecticut affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure said in a statement on Wednesday that it "shares" people's frustration over the decision and that it will continue funding Planned Parenthood of New England.

"The decision regarding the funding of Planned Parenthood was made by Susan G. Komen for the Cure National Headquarters," the group posted on its Facebook wall. "Susan G. Komen for the Cure Connecticut enjoys a great partnership with Planned Parenthood, and is currently funding Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. We understand, and share, in the frustration around this situation."

On Capitol Hill, Vitter is obviously pleased, but champions of women's health are not. "I have been a big booster of the Susan G. Komen organization," Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said on the House floor, "but not anymore."

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