The Washington Post reports:
"The nation's leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates -- creating a bitter rift, linked to the abortion debate, between two iconic organizations that have assisted millions of women.
"The change will mean a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams."
As you can see from the chart above, cancer screening and prevention comprises 17 percent of Planned Parenthood's services. For many low-income women, Planned Parenthood is their only source of health care. By caving to the anti-choice extremists who are determined to put Planned Parenthood out of business, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is essentially telling low-income women they're better off dying of cancer than having access to the screening and prevention that saves lives.
Of course, that's not what they're saying:
"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."
Right. Because of extremists in the House, like Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who tried last year to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood -- and even threatened to shut down the government if they didn't get their way -- low-income women will have a much harder time getting the necessary care they need to screen for and prevent cancer. And the Komen Foundation is now doing their dirty work for them.
And the fact that Karen Handel, the foundation's senior vice president of public policy, is "staunchly and unequivocally pro-life" is just a coincidence, right?
Send an email to the Susan G. Komen foundation and tell them what you think of this decision.
Planned Parenthood's statement is below....
NEW YORK -- Planned Parenthood Federation of America today expressed deep disappointment in response to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation's decision to stop funding breast cancer prevention, screenings and education at Planned Parenthood health centers. Anti-choice groups in America have repeatedly threatened the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood to provide these lifesaving cancer screenings and news articles suggest that the Komen Foundation ultimately succumbed to these pressures.
"We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure. Our greatest desire is for Komen to reconsider this policy and recommit to the partnership on which so many women count," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
In the last few weeks, the Komen Foundation has begun notifying local Planned Parenthood programs that their breast cancer initiatives will not be eligible for new grants (beyond existing agreements or plans). The Komen Foundation's leadership did not respond to Planned Parenthood requests to meet with the Komen Board of Directors about the decision.
To ensure that the Komen Foundation's decision doesn't jeopardize any woman's access to lifesaving screenings and services, Planned Parenthood has launched a Breast Health Emergency Fund. The fund will offset the support that 19 local Planned Parenthood programs stand to lose from Komen. The Komen-funded Planned Parenthood programs have helped thousands of women in rural and underserved communities get breast health education, screenings, and referrals for mammograms.
"While this is deeply disturbing and disappointing, we want to assure women who rely on Planned Parenthood for breast care that we're still here for them, and we always will be. The new fund we're launching to support these services will ensure that the Komen Foundation's decision doesn't jeopardize women's health," added Richards.
Over the past five years, Planned Parenthood health centers with Komen program funding have provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams out of the more than four million clinical breast exams performed nationwide at Planned Parenthood health centers, as well as more than 6,400 mammogram referrals out of 70,000 mammogram referrals. Anti-choice groups in America have repeatedly threatened the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood to provide these lifesaving cancer screenings.