After yesterday's AP report on how leading breast cancer charity, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, was stopping its grants to Planned Parenthood—grants that go towards breast exams and information—Planned Parenthood asked its supporters to donate. And they have: The Washington Post reports that $400,000 has been donated to the organization in the past 24 hours.
Last year, the Susan G. Komen Foundation gave $680,000 in grants to Planned Parenthood and about $580,000 in 2010 to 19 of Planned Parenthood's affiliates. New York City's chapter wasn't funded by the grants, but chapters like Planned Parenthood of Southern New England were. Ann Hogan, president of Susan G. Komen for the Cure Connecticut, told the WaPo that she was frustrated by the furor of the defunding, "We have a great partnership with Planned Parenthood, and our hope is that the investigation that has prohibited them from receiving Komen grants will be resolved quickly." She added she was frustrated about spending her time on damage control, "The big picture is we want to end breast cancer forever. In the meantime, we want to make sure women have access to the services we need, and that’s what we spend our time on."
Planned Parenthood believes that the Komen foundation's management—notably former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel who is now a VP—is bowing to pressure from pro-life groups by blaming its decision on the House investigation launched by pro-life Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Florida) and has pointed out various instances where Komen has previously affirmed its support of Planned Parenthood, like, this statement from Komen Montana—"The decision to fund any breast health and screening program is based on a thorough assessment of a community’s breast health needs and resources. In some areas of the U.S., our affiliates have determined a Planned Parenthood clinic to be the best or only local place where women can receive breast health care. In all cases, Komen funding is used exclusively to provide breast cancer programs, including clinical breast exams conducted by trained medical personnel."—or this press release from Planned Parenthood of Delaware and a Philadelphia affiliate of Komen about offering free breast exams—the Komen representative says, "We are proud to support Planned Parenthood of Delaware in their efforts to empower these women in the fight against this disease and help their children live in the hope of a future free from breast cancer."
Salon looks at Komen's history in a piece called, "Komen for the Cure sells out women, again,"—Sarah Palin is a senior policy adviser—noting, "Along the way, Komen has become the McDonald’s of cancer — an easy-to-remember brand with a logo that demands little thought or effort from the consumer. Write a check, buy a ribbon, voila! You get to feel like you’re curing cancer." Also, "In a 2010 story for the Huffington Post, writer Laura Bassett pointed out that, according to Komen’s own financial records, it spends almost “a million dollars a year in donor funds” aggressively going after other organizations that dare to use the phrase “for the cure” - including small charities like Kites for a Cure, Par for the Cure, Surfing for a Cure, Cupcakes for a Cure, and even a dog-sledding event called Mush for the Cure."