Susan G. Komen vs. Planned Parenthood: Is this about abortion?

General view at the 2011 Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure at National Mall

Susan G. Komen, one of the leading charities in preventing and curing breast cancer,  has pulled funding to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood decried Komen for having “succumbed to political pressure” related to the topic of abortions.

In a statement Planned Parenthood said Komen representatives notified Planned Parenthood divisions across the country that it will stop providing funding for breast cancer screenings and prevention.

“We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a statement. “Our greatest desire is for Komen to reconsider this policy and recommit to the partnership on which so many women count.”

According to NPR, 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.

Komen spokeswoman, Leslie Aun, said the funds were cut as a result of the investigation as to whether federal money was used by Planned Parenthood for abortions, according to NPR.

The news of the cutoff came with mixed reactions. While Planneed Parenthood received a commitment of $250,000 from the Amy and Lee Fikes’ foundation, others were happy Komen cut off ties to Planned Parenhood.

On its Facebook page, Bradley Mattes, executive director of the Life Issues Institute wrote: “The continued, collective efforts of the pro-life movement have paid off. Our work to educate Komen donors to the reality that the organization has financially supported the nation’s largest chain of abortion mills has caused Komen to halt the financial hemorrhaging. Evidently, Komen had to choose between political ideology and financial viability. They made a good choice.”

It’s sad if this boils down to the debate of abortion. Komen should know better than anyone that Planned Parenthood provides services to woman far beyond abortion. Komen is an advocate for breast cancer screenings, yet by limiting funds to Planned Parenthood, it is essentially denying underprivileged or uninsured women the right to a mammogram.

According to NPR, Patrick Hurd, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern Virginia, whose wife Betsi is a veteran of several Komen races and currently fighting breast cancer said, “We’re kind of reeling … It sounds trite, going through this with Betsi, but cancer doesn’t care if you’re pro-choice, anti-choice, progressive or conservative. Victims of cancer could care less about people’s politics.”

You hear, Komen, it doesn’t matter which side of the debate you’re on. Just let us have our breast exams.

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant


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