Saturday, February 4, 2012

Craven Political Cowardice of the Susan G. Komen Foundation Results in a Huge Benefit Planned Parenthood and the Cause of Women’s Health

Not Exactly What They Had in Mind

[Update:  The Komen Group has announced it will continue to fund Planned Parenthood. 

“We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives,” Nancy G. Brinker, Komen’s chief executive, said in a statementposted on the organization’s Web site. The statement added, “We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants.”

As an added bonus, the anti-abortion rights groups are furious. they cannot believe that funds to support women's health will continue.]

Earlier it was announced that the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure decided to withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood.  This was funding that provided for breast cancer screenings for hundreds of thousands of women.  Now the “Cure” that the Komen group is looking for is for Breast Cancer.  They are the people who have publicized the pink and pink ribbon campaigns.

So why would such a group defund another group doing exactly what the Komen Group is trying to do.  Well Planned Parenthood in a totally separate operation also provides abortion services.  And Conservative pressure has been placed on any group that helps Planned Parenthood, even when that help has nothing to do with abortions and everything to do with the mission of a group like the Komen Foundation.

The Komen group has made up a story to support their action, something about not funding groups that are under Congressional investigation (surprisingly this was only Planned Parenthood.)  But everyone with an IQ greater than 50 knows this was just a ruse.

A source with direct knowledge of decision-making at Komen’s headquarters in Dallas gave a different account, saying the grant-making criteria were adopted with the deliberate intention of targeting Planned Parenthood. The criteria’s impact on Planned Parenthood, and its status as the focus of government investigations, were highlighted in a memo distributed to Komen affiliates in December.

According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions, a driving force behind the move was Karen Handel, who was hired by Komen last year as vice president for public policy after losing a campaign for governor in Georgia in which she stressed her anti-abortion views and frequently denounced Planned Parenthood.

Like many things, the action by Komen has had unintended consequences, and mostly good ones.

Planned Parenthood has been heartened by an outpouring of support in response to the cutoff. In addition to $400,000 in smaller donations from 6,000 people, it is receiving $250,000 from a family foundation in Dallas and a $250,000 pledge announced Thursday by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to match future donations.

And there is a lot of opposition to the move

Some of Komen’s local affiliates are openly upset, and at least one top official has quit, reportedly in protest.
Meanwhile, Komen has been deluged with negative emails and Facebook postings, accusing it of knuckling under to pressure from anti-abortion groups, since The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that it was halting grants that Planned Parenthood affiliates used for breast exams and related services. 

But the really great thing this has done is to expose to millions of Americans the extent to which the anti-abortions rights group will go in their quest to control the lives of millions of American women.  Everyone now knows that those who most strongly profess respect and support for life are willing to condemn thousands of women to breast cancer if that is what it takes.  In fact, it now appears there is no harm they will not inflict in order to get their way, and the American public has learned that lesson.

So thanks Conservatives and thanks Komen group.  You have done so much for the cause of women’s health and women’s freedom to make their own choices, and the fact that it was the opposite of what you intended is just the icing on the cake.  Nice chocolate mocha icing, with sprinkles.

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