The Susan G. Komen Foundation, the breast cancer charity that attracts hundreds of thousands through its Race for the Cure events, has halted its grants to Planned Parenthood. The AP reports, "The change will mean a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams. Planned Parenthood says the move results from Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists."
The AP further explains, "Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said the cutoff results from the charity's newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. According to Komen, this applies to Planned Parenthood because it's the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., seeking to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions." Of course, that inquiry is politically motivated, after the House unsuccessfully tried to get Planned Parenthood defunded.
According to Planned Parenthood, the grants were $680,000 in 2011 and $580,000 in 2010, "going to at least 19 of its affiliates for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services." The group also Tweeted, "In 5 years, support from Susan G. Komen allowed PP health centers to provide nearly 170,000 breast exams & 6,400 mammogram referrals." Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said, "It's hard to understand how an organization with whom we share a mission of saving women's lives could have bowed to this kind of bullying. It's really hurtful."
The Washington Post's Sarah Kliff writes, "In some ways, the Komen decision isn’t particularly surprising. The group has been under pressure from anti-abortion rights groups not to fund Planned Parenthood. It also hired a vice president last year who had previously advocated for the group’s defunding in her run for Georgia governor. With a congressional investigation underway, Komen pulled its support. And when private institutions move to cut off Planned Parenthood’s funding there’s not much Democrats can do.The only possible backstop here might be pressure from Planned Parenthood supporters pushing back in the opposite direction." As Salon's Joan Walsh Tweeted, "The Komen Foundation just destroyed its brand, and it's going to be very, very sorry."