February 1st, 2012
07:34 PM ET

Opinions fly after Komen drops Planned Parenthood

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."

Read more

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."

Read more

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."

Read more

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."

Read more

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."

Read more

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Filed under: Abortion • Health • Health Care • Politics • The Reads You Need
soundoff (1,014 Responses)
  1. Robert

    People, remember that cancer does not know race, religion, rich, poor, or your political believes you have. It can strike anyone at any age. To take funding away from the most vulnerable in our society is just insanity. Do not mix politics with the lives of these women for your cause. Cancer is real, cancer will kill you save for early detection. Please do not murder the innocence for your narow mided cause. Let women choose. Do not let the government make decisions for them. My money will now go to Planned Parrenthood. God bless all you who have supported Planned Parenthood...

    February 2, 2012 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Johnette

      Robert said: "Please do not murder the innocence for your narow mided cause"

      Isn't that what abortion is????

      February 2, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • drahser

      It's called "Planned Parenthood" for a reason. I fully agree with you with respect to cancer and it's nondiscriminatory fatalist touch. However, it's been too long that Planned Parenthood throws dust in people's eyes by hiding behind different mirrors and concealing its true purpose. Frankly, to me it does not matter that Planned Parenthood, in actuality, does use the majority of its funds towards abortions. What matters it that they are so deceitful about it. Be who you are, admit it, embrace it, and move on. But don't p|ss on me and tell me it's raining. Komen gets to fund where they see fit. If they stopped funding the fight against cancer, then that's a different conversation. But when they don't want to funnel their money to an organization that has long been the poster-child for adoption and for pro-choice political agendas, then so be it. Komen has the right to pick where they give money, and so do you.

      February 2, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • K

      Bravo Robert – well said

      February 2, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • LAB

      @drasher, a quick internet search will show you, from several sources, that Planned Parenthood uses only 3% of its budget on abortions. Last I checked, 3% wasn't quite a majority...

      February 2, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • dudeuloose

      Robert, if you are for saving lives then why not stick up for the unborn babies? You people have double standards!

      February 2, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • NorCalMojo

      There are 100's of breast cancer charities. It's practically an industry in itself. I'm sure you can find one that supports abortion services if it's that important to you.

      February 2, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Saying......

      Don't forget the history of Planned Parenthood and it's agenda...
      These organizations arose out of the fears of America's affluent, educated
      elite. To have more money and time for themselves, they were having fewer
      children. As a result they were alarmed by the high birth rates of poor and
      working-class people.[2] They considered the prolific poor, as Sanger put it,
      "the most far reaching peril to the future of civilization."[3]
      Two movements developed in response to these fears. Both considered the
      nation a "race" that could be strengthened by keeping the birth rate of the
      "fit" (the affluent) above that of the "unfit" (the poor). They differed
      only in whose birth rate they wanted to change. PLEASE RESEARCH BEFORE YOU CONCLUDE... I AM A WOMAN.. A SURVIVOR (Breast cancer)...

      February 2, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mmmmm ♔♕

    goodforya...lol! Komen need to donate its resources to legitimate organization the trully support life.

    planned parenthood is nothing more than vicious and diabolical people killers...if only more could be done to remove this scrouge against humanity from our society and destroy this temple of doom who attack humans when they are most vunerable which is in the womb.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
    • allanhowls

      Can you explain how an organization, 50% of whose activities are cancer screenings and STD screening/treatment for people who are primarily below the poverty line is somehow evil?

      Are you so willing to let thousands die of cancer just to ostensibly save one life? Are you willing to put mothers' lives at risk by taking away safe options? You need to think VERY hard about your position and what you actually stand for.

      Apparently, you're not pro-ALL life.

      February 2, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Paola

      @Mmmmm ... you sound like a living proof that bigotry can truly reduce the size of your brain.
      I applaud your immense ignorance!

      February 2, 2012 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • truth

      Allan, I can tell you, it's because the OTHER 50% that you fail to talk about is in the business of killing black babies. Planned Parenthood is a racist organization started by Margaret Sanger, who pushed Eugenics for the black population. This is an absolute fact, you can attempt to dispute it and talk around this point but that IS the truth. Furthermore, there are any numbers of doctors or other clinics that will give breast exams that aren't under congressional investigation for misappropriating funds. Planned Parenthood is nothing more than an aboriton schill taking federal taxpayer funds and sending them back into the Democratic party via contributions...in most countries it's called money laundering, but in America the liberals call it "women's health".

      February 2, 2012 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Freedom1776

      "Sacrificed to the temple of doom"? I'm sorry but dose anyone actually stop to listen to themselves. I mean really, "Temple of Doom"? The insanity and oppression sweeping this nation fueled by radical Christianity is absolutely appalling. The oppression of woman's rights by radical Christians is as bad if not more so than that of radical Muslims. The days of silently fading into the night while radical Christians spread their hate, bigotry, violence, and oppression are over. We made that mistake once and suffered two Inquisitions for it, never again! People have free will, this means the can make their own decisions free of your opinion. You want to see a real "Temple of Doom", check out a Catholic school and see how many have been abused, rapped, and sodomized by those "Closest to God".

      February 2, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
    • truth

      "Freedom", never surprised to see anti Catholic bigotry here on CNN....one only needs to check their local public school teacher for child po-rn. Whether the Catholic Church has handled it's affairs properly is you trying to spread your bias, the fact is, if all these Christians that you hate left this nation, it would crumble, you would be wise to understand that the majority of our laws in this society are based on Christian principles. 70% of the people in this nation identify as Christian, so maybe you're the one that's going to have to go s-crew? Maybe you're the one that's going to have to attempt to elevate your low standards to the same morality as everybody else? I understand that for a liberal that's a tall order.

      February 2, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • lyndon

      allen, the end does not justify the means....is it lawful to kill one to save another? more children die from abortion then men and women from breast cancer...abortion is not a "safe" option for curing breast cancer...breast cancer can be repressed...the childs life cannot be brought back or relinquished....a human is a human...killing a human is never safe and is only justified in the "Just War Doctrine".

      February 2, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. Remford

    SGK is fully entitled to give (or not) to any party it chooses – certainly more than others are to decide how SGK should spend ITS money.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      REmford and anyone else. It is my money, not Komens. And I'll take my hundreds of thousands elsewhere. Our country has become a cesspool of Republican/right wing activists.

      February 2, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • drahser

      It isn't your money, it WAS your money. You trusted in the mission that Komen stands for an therefore you donated. Didn't know that you really wanted to donate to Planned Parenthood but I guess you were doing it through Komen. And if you did take that tax deduction for your money, then I guess the government subsidized you helping Planned Parenthood perform abortions. The sooner that is cut out, the better we will all be. If Komen choosing to not deal with an agency under investigation (because it muddles its accounting practices in oblivion so that others cannot track how much government money is being used to subsidize abortions) is a dealbreaker for you, then why don't you go and donate to Planned Parenthood directly. That way, leave the cancer talk alone and donate where your heart might really be.

      And by the way, giving ballpark numbers to how much you donate and naming yourself Rich is really, really, really CORNY. Save some hundreds thousands and invest in some class...

      February 2, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • truth

      "a cesspool of right wing activists"? really Rich? so when the left wing activists decide that our tax money can be used to pay for something we don't agree with, that's a-ok with you? Because the left is so pure of heart, they want to give those poor thousands of women who couldn't be bothered to use birth control a way out of their predicament, other than to teach them responsibility for their actions? Because the left wants to introduce birth control in grade school rather than impress a moral code...which ...surprise...doesn't work, and only exacerbates teen pregnancy. We vicious right wingers want to see babies allowed to live their lives ...are SO hateful! It's JUST a fetus...ever notice how when a woman is 3 months pregnant and wants to have the "baby"...it's a BABY...but when she wants to have an abortion, it's just a FETUS?

      Life is continual, you are alive when concieved, that is the START of your life. Life doesn't pause...or suddenly animate inanimate objects. Life can ONLY come from life. This is logic in its purist form, something the liberal will NEVER be able to get, regardless of how high their intelligence is, they can't help but suck at logic.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Your taxes do not go for funding abortions at PP.
      I wish people would remember this.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mmmmm ♔♕

    im glad the komen foundation is pulling it's funds from this nazi orgainization...planned parenthood is an evil dog...

    February 2, 2012 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
    • philfugate

      To interrelate politics with womens health is s sham. SGK is showing it's true color isn't pink, but red.

      February 2, 2012 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mi Poo

    The whole Kormen thing is a sham anyway. The one good thing they could do (providing funding for mammograms) is now being politicized. They spend more money on self promotion than they do on cancer research. Have rates for breast cancer deaths dropped in the past 10 years? No, they have not. It's all a lie.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. GaryB

    "Grant making decisions are not about politics..."? Give me a break. The whole congressional investigation is a Republican publicity stunt designed to curry favor with so-called conservative christians.They need a villian for political theater, so they've built Planned Parenthood into one, despite the fact that the facts don't really support their political narrative. Need further proof that Komen's decision is rooted in politics? Check out their relatively new VP of Public Policy Karen Handel, who ran for Governor of Georgia almost entirely on an anti-abortion platform. If Komen wants to divert money away from breast exams for poor women, that's their perogative, but they should at least be honest with their donors as to why they're choosing to put women's lives at risk.

    February 2, 2012 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
    • sharonj

      this is just more control from the american taliban ops the republican party and the religious wackos stop giving money to sgk andgive to planned parenhood i am

      February 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. A Watcher

    The arrogance of those who oppose women's rights has infected one of the most successful women's health actions with their self righteousness. KOMEN has a fiduciary responsibility to use their funds as expressed by their public pronouncements, period. No KOMEN monies were being used to support abortion in any manner. This is insane and a crime against all women. ENOUGH !!!!!!

    February 2, 2012 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm ♔♕

      you are a fool if you believe that...not only the komen money but the komen name was utilized as a vector to procuring advertising and advising the availabity of abortion...the same scam employed with the "free pregnancy testing" use a lab test to redirect people attention from life to fear and a death.

      February 2, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Sorry, check your facts. The idea that "Planned Parenthod" majors in preventative health care is akin to saying that the Mafia's sole interest is in organizing better business practices. Don't be so naive.

      February 2, 2012 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Bizarro Mike, check YOUR facts. Abortion services are only 3% of Planned Parenthood's activities.


      February 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kerstin

    It's about time CNN got this story to the front page... they have barely covered it at all!! This is a BIG issue, and people are VERY upset and disappointed.

    February 2, 2012 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mmmmm ♔♕

    @pleaseuselogic...you are a poor excuse for a friend...you have no right to relabel an unborn child in the womb as a mistake that need correction, an accident that need to be cleaned up. or an error that need erasing then order destruction of the mother and the child. how many of your own babies you have killed? sacrificed to this temple of doom?

    February 2, 2012 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Forget it!

      There are far, far too many people in this world. There should be more abortions.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • txeduator

      It's a darn shame your mother didn't feel the same way

      February 2, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      I am pro-choice, but perhaps conscientious and proactive population control is preferable to abortion?

      February 2, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      All of which PP provides.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      You are pro murder?

      February 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Yes I am pro murder. I wish your mother had not chosen life. So does she.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • truth seeker

      ivf results in abortions....outlaw that

      February 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • yes

      So totally agree with this. Thank you.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      How about your parents start with you?.......murderer.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taioseach7

      Hey Ryan, why don't you mind you own business.

      This country is founded on FREEDOM and last I checked a woman can make any decision she chooses without government influence.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Amen !

      February 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel


      February 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Saying......

      you say there are far to many people in the world... which ones do you suggest need to be aborted? Have mercy! what has happened to the moral integrity of this nation?

      February 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • KQ

      You need to get out more.

      February 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • keith

      I would rather they be sacrificed to the raiders of the lost ark.

      February 2, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Thank you-I was going to point out the Indiana Jones subreference there.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      A zygote is not a baby.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Siara Delyn


      February 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • justin

      You too were once a zygote.

      When your mother was pregnant with you, did she rub her belly and say "my zygote" or "my fetus"?
      No, she said "my baby".

      February 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tim

    ultimately, who cares?

    if you don't want to support komen at this point, give your money directly to planned parenthood...there have to be groups other than the komen foundation helping women with cancer and in cancer research, send your money that way...

    if komen is still helping women, great, should it matter how they split their money as long as it is being used to help?

    also, haven't both of these groups in the past been suspected of dealings not quite up to par with how the public views them?

    February 2, 2012 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    Planned parenthood? What a misnomer. Legalized infanticide for profit. I say, "PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF UNBORN WOMEN!"

    February 2, 2012 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
    • checi

      oh please...spare us the B.S.. Men like you don't support the rights of living women so how can you support the rights of blastomas that don't even have a heartbeat yet. Men will start supporting women when they insist that their coworkers not be fired for being pregnant, when they support pre-natal care for poor women, when they support health care for uninsured families and when they tell other men not to produce children that they cannot support.

      February 2, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Cynic

      My father used to say that Mother Nature was the world's greatest abortionist. Until modern medicine interfered with natural selection.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. Josh

    Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation isn't going to fund breast exams anymore, than what good are they going to do with the money? Prostrate exams?

    February 2, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Ufeud

      HA, they probably have an issue with how they are administered.

      February 2, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. life101

    How many Investigations by our government are started for political gain by one side or the other. Are you not innocent until proven guilty..... does make me wonder who in the Komen organization is using this to advance their anti abortion views. My donations will now go directly to Planned Parenthood. Letting someone push their personal agenda has just done a great disservice to all women. Shame on them.

    February 2, 2012 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • truth

      pretty sick that your liberal agenda trumps a charitable cause that's brought breast cancer into the forefront for the nation. I guarantee you that Planned Parenthood is not going to spend your donation on breast cancer research.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Mickey

      Truth – oh stop ranting. The Komen organization did not start breast cancer awareness! It hopped on a band wagon and took off with it. It has become a pink industry. The issue is that the funding is being pulled because ONE congressman decided to initiate an investigation. There have been no charges laid, no judgement found but hey pull that funding.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ufeud

    I think it is ridiculous that a fundraising agency can make a decision based on what Congress is investigating. Leave well enough alone, do your job and stop worrying about what the government thinks. Take your money, cure the disease. Take care of the people who are supposed to benefit from your efforts. What does it have to do with the Foundation as a whole. So stupid.


    February 2, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mmmmm ♔♕

    oops...lol...CNN is censoring me...they don't want me to talk about that leez bee Ann!

    February 2, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Lesbians don’t get breast cancer?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
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