Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Komen Defunds Planned Parenthood

By now anyone who spends any time on the net is aware that the leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, has decided to pull all funding for breast cancer screening from Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is saying that the move is a cave-in by Komen to pro-life political pressure. Komen has responded that the move isn't political; it's just that they have a new policy of not funding organizations that are under investigation, and Planned Parenthood is under a (highly political) investigation by Congress about whether they're violating the Hyde Amendment by using federal funds for abortions.

A few of the more interesting tidbits from the web:

A number of pieces, including this one, and this rather less mild one, about how the decision was influenced by Komen's new senior VP, Karen Handel--a pro-life former Republican candidate for the Georgia governorship, endorsed by Sarah Palin; pieces like this one, claiming that the immediate outcry from Planned Parenthood supporters has already resulted in PP recouping much of the money it won't get from Komen, and may deliver a real long-term blow to Komen; pieces like this one, showing enthusiasm for Komen's move among some religious and pro-life groups; articles like this one, and this, detailing past Komen-related controversies, like suing other charities for using "cure" and pink ribbons at their events, and lending their support to unhealthy products like KFC ("because nothing says that you care about women's health like a big vat of fried chicken"); this meta-coverage of the Internet/Social Media response to the news; and this story about a dissenting Komen affiliate group in Connecticut.

I'm guessing, along with many others, that Komen will emerge a loser here, and that Planned Parenthood will benefit significantly from the anger stirred up in its pro-choice base--and from the sense in the broader women's health community that Komen's political move threatens access of the poorest women to preventative breast-cancer screening.

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