Not Much of A Cure: Susan G. Komen Flips Off Planned Parenthood, Poor Women Everywhere
The Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure announced Tuesday night that they are ceasing all grants to Planned Parenthood. This sudden, shocking decision was met with fury and outrage on the interwebs—completely understandable given the longstanding and positive ties between both organizations. Komen attributed the move to new legislation they’ve enacted that prohibits them from contributing to organizations that are under investigation at the local, state, or federal level. Which, conveniently, applies to Planned Parenthood—they’ve been beleaguered for months by a right-wing witch-hunt spearheaded by a Florida Republican and Americans United for Life.
Though many theorized anti-abortion bullying largely contributed to the decision, external pressure may not be solely to blame. Karen Handel (a Sarah Palin endorsee for governor of Georgia in 2010, if that doesn’t tell you everything) is now the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Senior Vice President for Public Policy. It should come as no surprise that she’s staunchly anti-choice and vowed to defund Planned Parenthood if ever given a chance. She notes in her campaign documents that she believes in the “sanctity and inherent dignity of human life”—just not for all human life, apparently. There’s nothing that gets the “pro-life community” salivating more than denying poor women healthcare.
This isn’t the first time Komen has found themselves in the spotlight—in December, LifeWay Christian Resources, a Southern Baptist organization, recalled pink bibles sold at Walmart because a dollar from every “Here’s Hope Breast Cancer Bible” sold went towards Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which in turn had a relationship with Planned Parenthood.
“Though we have assurances that Komen’s funds are used only for breast cancer screening and awareness, it is not in keeping with LifeWay’s core values to have even an indirect relationship with Planned Parenthood,” Thomas Ranier, the president of Life Way, said at the time.
“Komen has acknowledged that some funds have gone to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings, saying its Planned Parenthood funding paid for 139,000 breast exams and about 5,000 mammograms, detecting 177 cases of cancer in the past five years, according to the charity’s website.”
Planned Parenthood actually received $680,000 in donations from Komen last year and $580,000 the year before. A private donor in Texas has offered up $250,000 to offset some of the losses and Planned Parenthood is now rapidly trying to fundraise for the rest. What an affront to the memory of Susan Komen and her legacy, which was to “save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.”
As one commenter wrote on the Komen Facebook page:
“SHAME ON YOU!! Susan G. Koman would be ashamed of your decision. Giving in to conservative, anti-choice pressure deprives women of the health care they need, and often get ONLY at Planned Parenthood. It is a slap in the face to women and decision that succeeds only in depriving low-income women of cancer screenings that could save their lives — it is a move that flies in the face of Koman’s mission.
I, hereby, pledge to read all labels and not support SGK and, instead, to make an extra donation to Planned Parenthood this year. I hope others will join me in pledging not to give money to SGK causes until SGK changes their stance.”
Some recommendations from GOOD are: Breast Cancer Action, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, Women’s Community Cancer Project, African American Breast Cancer Alliance, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Our Bodies Ourselves, the National Women’s Health Network, or your local women’s health clinic.
Speak out and take action. Let Komen know that their actions are shameful at best, cruel at worst, and we won’t let political fear mongering stand in the way of women’s access to life-saving health care.
Image from: ihavebreastcancerblog
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