Seriously, this is bullshit:
Susan Komen Foundation halts grants to Planned Parenthood
NEW YORK – The nation's leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its financial partnerships with numerous Planned Parenthood affiliates.
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.
The result is a bitter rift, linked to the national abortion debate, between two iconic organizations that have assisted millions of women.
Planned Parenthood says the cutoff, affecting grants for breast exams, results from Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion groups. 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 activists.
The Komen grants, which totaled about $680,000 last year and $580,000 in 2010, went to at least 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates for breast-cancer screening and related services. Planned Parenthood hopes to raise new funds to fill the gap.
Planned Parenthood used these grants to fund 130,000 breast exams and 6,500 mammograms.
As usual, the so-called "Christian" right puts their ideology and politics above actual women's health, whether it's blocking the HPV vaccine or forcing women to undergo unnecessary medical procedures.
For the record, the pretext for this decision is fairly thin; Komen has a policy which prohibits funding of any organizations under congressional investigation. Congress is investigating Planned Parenthood. Ipso facto, case closed, not at all political, right?
However, according to the Washington Post, this is a new policy, adopted after Komen hired conservative Georgia politician and failed gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel as their senior Vice President of Public Policy. Handel, who is pro-life, ran for governor on a pledge to defund Planned Parenthood if elected. No other organizations have been similarly affected at this point. It is also worth noting that the "investigation" which triggered the termination of the partnership is nothing more than a partisan fishing expedition led by pro-life government oversight chairman, Daryl Issa.
There's nothing wrong with any of that: Komen is a private organization and they have the right to follow any ideological agenda they choose. But don't believe any apologists who may claim that this was not driven by politics or a pro-life agenda.
Still, it's disturbing and disgusting to see a formerly reputable organization dedicated to women's health become co-opted by the christian right.
The founder and chairperson of the Komen Foundation is Nancy Brinker, whose email address, I am told, is email@example.com, and Elizabeth Thompson is the CEO, reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have reached out to both of them and politely expressed my concern about this politicization of their organization.
For my part, I will no longer support any Susan Komen Foundation activities or fundraisers so long as this situation persists. Frankly, there are plenty of other organizations doing great work for women's health in general and cancer in particular:
The American Cancer Society
The St Baldrick's Foundation
and, of course, Planned Parenthood itself.
I'll be directing my dollars and charitable efforts there instead.