Editor's note: This is part of an occasional "Reads You Need" series featuring some of the diverse voices from our site and across the Web on the stories causing ripples throughout the news sphere.
Over the last two days, columnists, advocacy groups and editorial boards have had plenty to say about Tuesday's announcement that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation would stop sending funds to Planned Parenthood for breast exams.
The move by the breast cancer research group came after Congress in September began investigating whether Planned Parenthood, a prominent family planning organization, illegally used federal funds to provide abortions. The Komen foundation has indicated that because it adopted a new policy preventing it from giving money to groups that the government is investigating, it can't continue funding breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood.
"Grant making decisions are not about politics – our priority is and always will be the women we serve. Making this issue political or leveraging it for fundraising purposes would be a disservice to women," the foundation said on its Facebook page.
Some Planned Parenthood supporters have alleged the move is less about investigation and more about abortion. Anti-abortion advocates around the country had questioned the Komen foundation about its grants for months, prompting the foundation to release a statement last year saying that "Komen funding is used exclusively to provide breast cancer programs."
iReport: 'Women should be in an uproar right now'
Planned Parenthood said funding from the Komen Foundation has largely paid for breast exams at local centers. In the last five years, grants from the group have directly supported 170,000 screenings, comprising about 4% of the total exams performed at Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide, according to the group.
At least one Komen affiliate might keep sending money, and Planned Parenthood says its fundraising has spiked since the national Komen foundation made its announcement.
Here are a few takes from around the country:
Komen attacks abortion rights
The Baltimore Sun's editorial board says Komen's decision puts "women's health at risk by denying breast cancer screening funds to Planned Parenthood on questionable grounds."
"Has Komen adopted an anti-abortion stance, too? Given the obvious political motivations behind the (congressional) investigation, it's hard not to see the decision as announcing that. According to Planned Parenthood, Komen is the first private organization to withdraw funding on the grounds of the congressional investigation. One can only assume that this outcome, if it stands, will motivate Congress to pursue all sorts of investigations against all sorts of controversial organizations.
That has to be greatly upsetting to many people who have participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure ... . Quite a few have probably written their share of checks to Planned Parenthood to not only support women's right to choose but basic family planning and cancer-screening services.
Breast cancer can strike anyone, including those who avail themselves of contraception. Shame on Komen for succumbing to pressure from anti-abortion groups and risking the health of the very women for whom they claim to advocate."
Thank Komen for decision
On the blog of anti-abortion group Bound4Life.com, which was among the groups pressuring Komen last year, the group's Susan Michelle says those who opposed Komen's funding of Planned Parenthood should now thank it for its decision.
"Though Komen says these public criticisms are not a factor in their choice to stop funding Planned Parenthood, it’s hard to believe that the pressure didn’t impact the decision. ... We should be vocal in thanking Komen for this decision."
Anti-abortion groups cheer Komen's move
USA Today's Cathy Lynn Grossman reports that other faith-based and anti-abortion groups are cheering Komen's decision.
"Planned Parenthood is a 'tarnished brand,' said Melinda Delahoyde, president of Care Net, a pregnancy support agency, who formerly headed educational outreach for Americans United for Life.
She cheered Komen's move to separate the relationship because, "Komen's mission is one that affects every woman... We fully endorse and applaud that mission." Delahoyde says the monies that once went to Planned Parenthood will move now to other groups and "women will continue to be helped."
At the core of religious groups' contention is that money is fungible.
Even if every cent donated by a church-sponsored walk or a Bible sale went to breast cancer screening, the argument went, that donation freed Planned Parenthood to spend more of the funds it raised – privately or from taxpayers – on abortion."
How will split affect women's health?
Time's Alice Park explores some of the possible women's-health consequences that could follow. She writes that although Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms, it does provide manual exams that are "an inexpensive way to screen for cancer and to educate and introduce women to the importance of screening." Additionally, she writes, Planned Parenthood refers "women to screening centers, pays for screening for women who cannot afford them, and then follows up with continued care in helping women interpret the tests and take appropriate actions based on their results."
"The loss of funding from Komen may disproportionately hurt those who need cancer screening the most. Some Planned Parenthood affiliates use the money to fund outreach programs to minority groups or to those who normally don’t have access to health care. Those programs now risk being terminated, if Planned Parenthood is not able to find additional funding to continue them.
The split may trigger other moves to withdraw funding — from both groups. Many critics of Komen’s decision are long-time supporters of the group, who gave in small but important ways, by fundraising in the group’s annual race for breast cancer research, for example. “My first 5K ever was for Susan G. Komen. Never will I raise money for this org again,” said one commenter, Jenna Marino, on Twitter. Many others expressed their displeasure on the Komen website; others advised people to donate directly to Planned Parenthood instead."
Decision politicizes breast cancer prevention
The Star-Ledger editorial board in New Jersey is no fan of Komen's decision.
"The Komen foundation put its stamp on breast cancer research with its pink ribbon campaign and other events, raising funds and consciousness about the disease. It created a community of women and men with a single goal: to find a cure. Breast cancer strikes everyone, no matter your race, ethnicity or political affiliation.
Now that sense of unity has evaporated. People are taking sides. Many who once supported Komen say they’ll take their donations elsewhere and plan to drop out of other Komen activities."
There are other clinics to be funded. I, personally, am happy by the decision.
There are not that many clinics anymore, and the Komen foundation, which is supposed to help raise breast cancer awareness and is supposedly working for a cure has placed another nail in the coffin of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of women who do not have access to health care prevention and cannot afford to travel to a place that offers help for the low income. SHAME ON THEM!!!
Katie protests, "There are not that many clinics anymore..."
Maybe now that some funding is apparently looking for a place to go, some new charitable clinics just for breast cancer screening will appear. This creates diversity in women's healthcare for the "underserved" which is always a good thing. When there are multiple providers, those in need are not dependent on one and that one has less power to dictate or to promote an unrelated cause.
You cannot reason with brainwashed religious wingnuts.
All they want is to control you. They don't want any responsibility for anything. All they want is control.
The GOP wants all life to be born so that the GOP can then promptly abandon that life.
And don't forget. When this abandon life grows up and becomes a nuisance to society, GOP wants to lock them up forever or throw the death penalty at this poor abandon life. I am still bewildered by this polar take on life by both the conservatives and liberals. One group says abortion is murder but not the death penalty. The other group says abortion is not murder but the death penalty is.
adoptachild, just from the perspective of the death penalty: Death is not a punishment. It is a painless exit. Life in prison is a punishment. Plus it costs 100x as much to put someone to death as it does to let them serve life in prison.
And why should we expect to fund whole new clinics when the PPH's service so many women with quality care already? It makes sense to have one clinic to go to for gyno and mammory exams.
The foundation has a policy not to donate to any organization being investigated by the government. ANY organization. And since when is 'the government' only Republican right wingers? See how easy the press can manipulate the masses? Right there in black and white it says ANY. More politically correct news mongering by the media to rile up the masses. Don't worry, they pressure will cause them to make one exception to their policy most likely. Everyday the American press gets more like TASS in Russia.
toadears: This decision highlights the problem with this policy - it creates a guilty until proven innocent environment. Any Congressman can initiate an investigation. Therefore, if a Congressman doesn't want funds going to a specific agency, all he needs to do is announce that Congress is opening an investigation; this investigation can then be dragged out indefinitely. Thus, without a shred of evidence, any Congressman could prevent funds from going to any given organization.
This appears to be the case here. Thus far, absolutely no evidence has been provided that Planned Parenthood misappropriated funds, raising the likelihood that this investigation was simply opened to appease the far right base of the Republican party.
pathetic the USA is... a charity for women but against women...
pull all relationships from this company as they are just an arm of the christian taliban out to CONTROL women not help them.
Maybe you should clarify which of the charities involved you are referring to?
So to finish your premise: criminals = better off dead? Weak. Not to mention the irony in Komen supporting Planned Parenthood which distributes birth control which itself causes breast cancer. I applaud Komen and will now begin to contribute to their cause.
an IQ of 100 could figure it out......
What an interesting analogy – christian talibans. Rather then arguing about abortion, maybe those who are for life should each adopt a child that is given up to state custody and then provide a loving and nurturing home for that child.
christian taliban is right... u either believe as we do or else..... pathetic the USA is.... only in the usa is abortion a political thing due to the christian taliban movement
Mr. adoptachild observes, "What an interesting analogy – christian talibans."
This is a common tactic born on grade-school playgrounds. When you can't dispute your opponent's position with facts and figures and common sense and reason, you call him a name instead.
Generally, the first party in a debate to resort to name-calling (especially when the name coopts such an emotionally-charged word as "taliban") instantly reveals himself to have the weaker position. In the old days, we used to use the rule-of-thumb that the first party to call the other a nazi lost the debate; today, the key word is taliban.
total and utter horse hockey. Not relevant to the story just your party line politics and rude and bigoted at that. The radical right did not write the policies of this foundation that said they won't donate to any organization under investigation by the government. I imagine those policies have been there a long time. By the way, this foundation was founded by a REPUBLICAN in honor of her sister, Susan Komen. Toads.
The Susan G Komen Foundation was founded by her sister when Susan died of breast cancer at age 36. Her sister is Nancy Goodman Brinker. A Republican, like Abraham Lincoln remember him?. A horrible, hideous Republican who wanted a cure for breast cancer and promised her dying sister to do all that she could to raise awareness and find a cure. This organization has saved thousands if not millions of lives. Ms. Brinker's honors and awards are numerous. President Obama gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. You are bigots.
Bottom line: 200,000 abortions a month in the United States is an abomination. How any civilized person can support this is beyond me.
abortion is only an issue in 3rd world countries and deeply CHRISTIAN countries that were converted by spanish invaders aka South America..... the USA has too many christian taliban trying to control women and govnerment
Put your money where your self-righteous mouth is – I DARE you to adopt a pregnant mother or two, support them throughout their pregnancy, and then adopt the child, no matter what the child is born with – addiction, Tay-Sachs, chromosome abnormalities, NO HEAD, as was the case with a dear friend of mine. I DARE YOU!
Over a 1/2 million children in Foster Care that chrisitian hypocrites do not adopt or support is criminal.
Katie, I agree with you. If these pro-lifers would work in a domestic violence shelter, or see babies born to mothers who don't want them, drug-addicted mothers, and the like. My little sister had a daughter, did crack and heroin throughout her pregnancy, the child has so many problems, and for the longest time, the refused to take her away from her mother. When they finally did, it had to be worse than anything i had ever seen her do to her daughter, which was pretty bad. My sister is still a junkie and now is expecting baby number two. Pro-lifers, put your money where your mouth is, if you don't like abortion, have birth control be totally free to any woman who wants it, the number of abortions will drop to only cases of rape or incest, or medical necessity. And if you oppose it in those cases, you are inhuman. But that is how you get rid of abortions.
the christian taliban do not CARE about anyone, they just care that u abide by their religious dictations. u r either with them or against them.... do u want to be declared a heretic and dragged thru the streets? your ancestors didnt and bent over to them...
Katie, I put that to someone one time on these boards, and do you know what she said? “I’m not going to pay for her sin!”
Yep, they care…only before they are born…after that, screw ‘em!
If you hate abortion that much....
Then keep PP active in your community.
Getting more people on BIRTH CONTROL would help reduce unwanted pregnancies.
But of course we know it is more important to get rid of the messenger, as well as the message:(
I wonder why these women aren't on birth control in the first place. Most of them could get it at PP for free or very low cost. I worked at a PP for several years and it is very easy to obtain various forms of birth control there. It boggles me that women with such readily available birth control (almost always free) still keep getting pregnant and then seeking STATE FUNDED abortions. Some of these women get multiple state funded abortions per year!! Why? What can we do to stop this?
Katie: There is no shortage of women standing in line to adopt these children. Open your eyes.
Oh stop the whining for pity's sake. I volunteer at the local food pantry, I am a mentor at the Juv. Court, we take in kids in transition that should not be taken away from their parents but the parents need help to get on their feet, I donate my time and money to the area pregnancy alternative centers that feed, clothe, employ and anything else a mother in crisis needs. My ladies' group bought and remodeled a house for women coming out of prison to get a new start with their children, I could go on and on people. And I am not the only one. You people wanted an example? Right here.
I think this is very sad. Planned Parenthood helps a lot of women with their health needs. And I do not mean with abortions. Breast cancer strikes many people of each political party. I never in a million years would think that the Komen Foundation would politicize women's health care. Shame on them. That is a disgrace.
I totally agree with you. Many Planned Parenthoods don't even offer abortion services. they do offer affordable Pap smears, breast cancer screenings, bioposies, STD tests, and affordable birth control. Who is going to pick up the slack for all these other services Planned Parenthood provides... I can guarantee it won't be the pro-life movement
You just can't say it enough: SHAME ON THEM!
But is it good for Planned Parenthood - or any single organization for that matter - to be the sole provider for women's health services for the "under-served?" No. Diversity is always good. It keeps one organization from becoming too dominant, from dictating and from using its position to persue other agendas.
Right now, a big stack of Komen money is available to a charity that wants to establish clinics to do breast cancer screening for under-served women. I suspect that a charity will quickly step in and do that.
Danielle says, "I can guarantee it won't be the pro-life movement."
Probably not as Breast Cancer is not their area of interest.
For the same reason, it probably won't be the American Heart Association or the March of Dimes either for the same reason. But that doesn't make those orgainizations into bad guys.
@Sherwood, The pro-lifers are trying to destroy Planned Parenthood, not the Komen foundation, but they are still listening to pro-lifers. Pro-lifers have made it illegal for Planned Parenthood to do business in Mississippi and South Carolina. If the pro-lifers want to take away a program to save the underprivileged with cancer screenings, biopsies, std prevention, and birth control, then they should create a foundation that provides these services, and women can choose if they want to go to Planned Parenthood or pro-life uterus encampment, but don't take away our options, just because you don't agree with them
The proof will be in the donation amounts over the next few months and involvement in the Komen Race for the Cure. Considering that most of the supporters of Komen's actions already give to anti-abortions groups, I think that their receipts will go down. They are not going to pull donations from those groups to switch to Komen. Pro choice donors will leave in droves, giving directly to Planned Parenthood or other groups. The anti – abortion crowd may pack the next race so attendance may be OK this year, although donations will be down. I don't think that they will be able to keep it up in the future. Final result – slight increase in Planned Parenthood donations, significant drop in Komen donations, long term effect of them just being another group addressing cancer issues, not a leader.
The Komen Foundation is for breast cancer. Hopefully, those who donate to it are doing so out of concern about breast cancer. If they remain so concerned and if the Foundation remains so oriented, why would they stop giving to the Foundation?
The foundation is not going to stop its funding for breast cancer screening. They will simply give it to another organization that can provide those same services to the same consumers. This is actually good for those consumers as it diversifies the provider base meaning that no one organization will become the 800lbs gorilla of women's health services for the under-served.
Sherwood: The problem is that in many communities, Planned Parenthood is the only place that offers these services at affordable rates. I saw in one of your previous posts that diverting money to other organizations will be good, because it will a diversity of options. The problem is that many more isolated communities simply can't support multiple separate clinics - there is simply not the client base. Planned Parenthood is already in these areas, with the resources and infrastructure to provide the needed services. It is certainly possible that additional money from Komen could be used to start a new clinic to replace Planned Parenthood, but this seems like a huge waste of resources. If there is already a good option available to provide these services (and if an area can only support one clinic), why does it make sense to waste the resources to start a new clinic?
What the hell are you thinking. I will never give another cent to your organization.
You got that right.
So, you two are no longer concerned about Breast Cancer, then?
I wouldn't worry about the two of them being concerned about breast cancer, but rather Komen's dedication to its own cause. I care about breast cancer, so it worries me that an organization whose mission is to end breast cancer would put screening in jeopardy among a population that arguably needs it the most. I won't give them any more money either, because I'd rather it go to an organization that will use it more effectively.
Is SGK the only charitable organization that donates money to breast cancer research, testing, prevention? This may be a moment when the tide shifts not away from PP, but from SGK.
For an organization that purported to support all women, the Susan Komen Foundation should be ashamed. They have shown that they are, in fact, divisive of women and their health. I will no longer contribute to any "walk" or other function for the organization. I will no longer contribute to any cause that supports the Komen Foundation. I will purchase no item that is advertising for the foundation and I will lobby against the organization every chance I get. The Komen Foundation is sending the wrong message to women. They are on the wrong side of this.
I totally agree, pro-choice is for all women. if you dont' want to have an abortion, i will never try to sway your opinion as is the case for all pro-choice women. The pro-life movement is all about no choice, so it easily is only just a portion of the women population. If anything, the Komen foundation is alienating it's supporters. cancer should not be a political issue, and now they have made it into one. Shame on them, for turning their backs on poor women who cannot afford services like breast cancer screening, pap-smears, std screenings, and the like. I guess only the privileged are who care about anymore
"For an organization that purported to support all women, the Susan Komen Foundation should be ashamed. "
The Foundation is not going to stop its work including funding breast cancer screening for under-served women. It's just going to do it through a different partner. Remember, their old partner is under investigation for a form of corruption.
GOP hocus pocus = " Federal investigation for a form of corruption? "
no matter which god u kneel to NONE of them tell u to abandon humans in need, if u think so then u r a lost soul
PP can divert money spent on abortions to breast exams. Problem solved, everyone should be happy.
religious nutcases should focus more on helping their community than trying to force their beliefs on everyone else...
once that gets in place like it is in the EU then the REAL problem is solved....
Spoken like the man you are…
Planned Parenthood spends so little on abortions it would be the same thing as not spending anything on breast exams. We have a Planned Parenthood clinic in my area, and I know many women who use it. They have never performed abortions, they don't even refer people to a place with abortions because of all the terrorism the anti-abortion crowd routinely wreaks on them – broken windows, rotten eggs, disgusting graphic literature plastered to their door, baby dolls with red paint left on the front lawn... Doesn't matter that they've NEVER performed abortions, which is legal both in this state and in this country, those people have nothing better to do with their time or their money. Low income women will pay the price for Komen's decision, so ironic an outcome for an organization that is supposed to HELP women.
If Planned Parenthood was truly concerned about breast cancer screening, if they truly were passionate about providing that service, then they would do exactly as you suggest. We'll see if they do.
It bears repeating:
NONE of the abortion services are paid for by taxpayer money.
THIS isn’t even about abortions; it’s about funding breast exams and mammograms.
WTG, Komen foundation, for pulling funding on the very thing your charity was founded on.
Shame on you.
Komen has not "pulled the money." They will still spend that money on the same thing. They will just do it with a different partner. After all, their old partner is under investigation for a form of corruption.
Maybe we should say: kudos to the Koman Foundation for not wanting to associate with another charity that is under federal investigation for a form of corruption?
GOP hocus-pocus = -"Federal investigation for a form of corruption?"-
Don’t you mean that the GOP is looking to get rid of PP altogether because one tiny part of their services is abortions, which no taxpayer money goes to? Corruption? No. Witch hunt to abolish something they personally don’t agree with? Yes.
Planned Parenthood does not perform mamograms.
Komen is done. They've been infiltrated by the religious-right wingnuts.
Everyone is moving to other organizations that provide similar support for breast cancer.
"Everyone is moving to other organizations that provide similar support for breast cancer."
But moving to another organization that provides similar support for breast cancer is just what Komen is doing. Their old partner is now under Federal investigation for a form of corruption. In light of that, they are moving that same money to a different partner.
Sherwood, let me clarify. When we're done Komen will lose about half of its money because we will be supporting other organizations that are not infiltrated by religious-right wingnuts.
Good for Komen! We are watching PP come to an end, and not a moment too soon!!!
TAXPAYER MONEY DOES NOT FUND ABORTIONS! Shame on you who would prefer women DIE than have access to affordable health care at Planned Parenthood.
WE=Christian Taliban movement that does not care about women or children they just care about CONTROL. do as they say or else
WHAT IN THE HELL?
Sure, condemn low-income women to suffer the consequences of YOUR bias…
Don’t like PP?
Don’t go there!
At least those women won't be unnecessarily exposed to radiation. If Komen was so opposed to abortions, why do they support pharmaceutical companies who use aborted fetuses to manufacture vaccines?
Well I know who I won't be donating to any more...
You may know, but we don't.
Komen because they are changing their partner for Breast Cancer screening?
Or Planned Parenthood because they are under Federal investigation for a form of corruption?
They are not under investigation for corruption, but way to put the Anti-Woman spin on it…
This action by Komen is an outrage and puts to the lie the claim that they care about women and breast cancer. People should absolutely reconsider any fundraising on behalf of Komen. It's a farcical cover for Komen to say they are acting because of this congressional investigation. That is just a right-wing republican sham. Komen was supposed to be about fighting breast cancer, but it has apparently gone in a very different direction. It's unbelievable how an organization which had such a positive name could trash in a moment. Send your donations to other organizations fighting breast cancer. Send them to Planned Parenthood. Komen is a disgrace. BOYCOTT KOMEN.
"It's a farcical cover for Komen to say they are acting because of this congressional investigation. "
I think that's a pretty good reason. Komen will still grant this money for Breast Cancer screening. They will just grant it to another charity which will do the same work with it.
Why should Komen continue to associate with a partner who is under Federal investigation for a form of corruption?
GOP hocus pocus = "Federal investigation for a form of corruption?"
Mr. Bspurloc protests, "GOP hocus pocus = "Federal investigation for a form of corruption?"
What do you disagree with? That they are under investigation? That is a fact. That what they are accused of and being investigated for is a form of corruption? That is also a fact.
That the radical right is behind this witch-hunt because they are anti-choice?
Also a fact.
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