On January 31, Susan B. Komen for the Cure, a charity founded to promote breast cancer research and prevention, announced its decision to cease providing grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates. Describing PP as “a longstanding partner”, the Komen foundation nonetheless put grants on hold pending the outcome of a Congressional investigation. The Komen charity recently adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities.
We note that the Komen decision was not affected by PP’s abortion business. Even so, we’re glad that even temporarily, Komen’s work for women’s health is no longer entangled with the business of the nation’s largest abortion provider. Numerous agencies that provide breast health care and screenings, without also providing abortions, would be happy to apply for Komen grant money and put it to work promoting women’s health.
We flatly disbelieve any assertion that the Komen decision will interfere with cancer screenings by PP. According to CBS News, PP said the Komen grants totaled roughly $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before. That amount, covering PP affiliates all over the country, is less than the public policy expenditures by just one PP affiliate: Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, whose 2010 annual report shows $822,481 spent on “public policy.” Any decision to deny cancer screenings as a result of a loss of Komen funds is a business decision by PP to make women’s health a secondary concern. Women seeking health care deserve better from their providers.
The response of PP supporters has been interesting, particularly on social media. There has been no acknowledgment from PP, either formal or informal, that Komen has the responsibility for good stewardship of its funds, and that it is legitimate to take a wait-and-see approach while a Congressional investigation is pending for a potential grant recipient. Instead, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, accuses Komen of submitting to “bullying.”
Susan G. Komen for the Cure has made a good decision, and pro-life women can finally participate in its activities without fear that donations will be sent to the nation’s largest abortion provider. We encourage all who applaud this decision to participate in a Komen event, and to let the foundation know the reason. We also note that any dollar spent on a publicity campaign by PP to pressure Komen is a dollar that is not going to promote women’s health.