Komen Foundation Withdraws Vital Support For Planned Parenthood
“The nation’s leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates…The change will mean a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.”
Planned Parenthood received grants from the Komen foundation ($680,000 in 2011 and $580,000 in 2010), money that was used for breast cancer screenings.
As the Washington Post states, “According to Planned Parenthood, its centers performed more than 4 million breast exams over the past five years, including nearly 170,000 as a result of Komen grants.”
The reason for the split, according to the Komen foundation, is the fact that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress, “a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups.” But Planned Parenthood is convinced that the reason is actually due to the pressure of anti-abortion activists on the Komen foundation.
“It’s hard to understand how an organization with whom we share a mission of saving women’s lives could have bowed to this kind of bullying…It’s really hurtful,” Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.
It is also interesting that the Komen foundation’s decision “comes less than a year after Komen hired a new vice president, who has publicly stated her opposition to abortion, a service provided at some Planned Parenthood facilities,” according to the Huffington Post.
In reality, only three percent of Planned Parenthood’s services involve abortion; the majority of health services provided by Planned Parenthood are STD testing, cancer screenings, cancer prevention, contraception, and general women’s health services.
Planned Parenthood is already suffering nationally from attacks by anti-choice activists, and this discontinuation of support for Planned Parenthood from the Komen foundation does not help. It seems that a foundation devoted to women’s health would wish to bolster its support to a federation that is devoted to that same cause, rather than limiting the abilities of Planned Parenthood to provide its essential health services.
It is incredibly disappointing that the Komen foundation is neglecting to firmly support Planned Parenthood in the face of anti-choice opposition, especially when an overwhelming majority (97 percent) of Planned Parenthood services are not abortion services, as Planned Parenthood is one of the largest providers of women’s health services in the nation.