The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, the nation’s leading charity for breast cancer, is putting a stop to its partnership with Planned Parenthood. It will mean a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money that is mainly used for breast exams.
Planned Parenthood maintains that this decisions stems from the Komen foundation giving in to pressure from anti-abortion activists. The Komen foundation says the decision is based on a new regulation they’ve instituted that says they will not give money to organizations under investigation by local, state or federal authorities.
The reason Planned Parenthood falls under that limitation is because it is the focus of a congressional inquiry by conservative Florida congressman Cliff Stearns (pictured above) to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions.
Two congressional Democrats, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Rep. Michael Honda of California, were quick to denounce the Susan G. Komen foundation’s actions.
Murray says in a statement: “I am extremely disappointed that
politics is once again coming between women and their health-care needs.
Breast-cancer screenings should not be a political issue, and I am very
concerned that this decision by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Foundation will cut women off from the health-care providers they rely
on for critical preventive care. At the heart of this issue is the shameful ‘investigation’ of
Planned Parenthood by House Republicans trying to score political points
and appease their extreme right-wing base. Komen should not allow these
sort of partisan games to put women across America at risk.”
Honda says in a similar statement: “I am stunned and
saddened that Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has decided to stop
funding for breast cancer prevention, screenings and education at
Planned Parenthood health centers around the nation. As someone who has
been personally touched by breast cancer, has advocated for breast
cancer funding as an appropriator in Congress and has supported the Race
for the Cure for years, the fact that the Foundation has succumbed to
political pressure is alarming. This is just the latest casualty in a
misguided and harmful campaign started by House Republicans to demonize
the life-saving health services delivered by Planned Parenthood health
centers. I call on Komen to reconsider this utterly misguided decision, stand strong in the face of political pressure and do the right thing for the health of millions of women everywhere.”
Our question is this – instead of instituting this new rule about organizations “under investigation,” why couldn’t the Komen foundation have just stipulated that all their grant money be used solely for breast exams? They can do that. Wouldn’t that have been a better solution, rather than take money away from the millions of women who can’t afford health care outside of the Planned Parenthood organization?