Tell the Susan G. Komen Foundation not to bow to political pressure
It has just been reported that the Susan G. Komen Foundation is halting its partnerships with and funding of Planned Parenthood. KOMO4 News (Seattle) reports:
The change will mean a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.
Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before, going to at least 19 of its affiliates for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services.
Planned Parenthood says the move results from Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists. Komen says the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress - a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups.
Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said the cutoff results from the charity's newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. According to Komen, this applies to Planned Parenthood because it's the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., seeking to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions. That investigation, which has no set timetable, was launched in September when Stearns asked Planned Parenthood for more than a decade's worth of documents.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has depicted Stearns' probe as politically motivated and said she was dismayed that it had contributed to Komen's decision to halt the grants to PPFA affiliates.
"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," Richards told The Associated Press. "It's really hurtful."
"It sounds almost trite, going through this with [my wife], but cancer doesn't care if you're pro-choice, anti-choice, progressive, conservative," Patrick Hurd, , who is CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia - recipient of a 2010 grant from Komen - and whose wife, Betsi, is a veteran of several Komen fundraising races and is currently battling breast cancer, said. "Victims of cancer could care less about people's politics."
The Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parent have a joint mission in women's healthcare that we all support. Please do not compromise women's health as a result of politically-motivated paranoia. Restore your partnerships and funding of Planned Parenthood.