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. YoursIsNoDisgrace

    So…the anti-abortion freakaziods are going to raise a boatload of money for breast cancer research, right? No..women with breast cancer are not fetuses so they can die. It’s in g_ds plan.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ashley

    II don't see anything wrong with Koman Making their decision the reason for this is Planned Parent Hood LIED they used funds they were not supposed to use for the wrong reasons. Planned Parent Hood themselves robbed woman in need of breast exams and used the money for abortion. That has nothing to do with pro-life or pro-choice I wouldn't give money to a person who claimed they need a basic necessity but in turn actually lied and spent the money elsewhere. Plain and simple

    February 2, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • PoBoy

      Where is the proof that PPH used money intended for breast exams for abortion? If you had read the article carefully, you would have noticed that the congressional investigation is supposedly trying to determine if that happened. The investigation has not been completed, so don't jump to bad conclusions just yet!

      February 2, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • xrk9854

      Obvious Kool-Aid drinker. Planned Parenthood provides women's health services of which less than 5%(?) is abortion related. So attacking PPH because of a tiny piece of what they do is just stupid. They provide lots of other vital services to women. I can only call the move by Congressional republicans and the Komen Foundation as an attack on women's health services as a whole.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon O

      Got proof?

      February 2, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon O

      Ashley, let me rewrite your post more accurately and more simply:

      "Baseless claim! Baseless claim! Outright light! Rabble-rabble-rabble! Baseless claim! Place self on pedestal! Roaaaaaaar!"

      February 2, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon O

      *outright lie, rather – ha!

      February 2, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • txeduator

      @xrk9854, you don't agree that those thighs and feet and hands of ripped out babies are important "tiny pieces of what PPH does", do you?

      February 2, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. dudeuloose

    whats laughable is an organization like planned parenthood who claims to save lives and at the same time takes the lives of innocent unborn babies! I applaud Komen, I will now begin to donate to them!

    February 2, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • txeduator


      February 2, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mary

    Planned Parenthood does more than perform abortions. It recommended a course in natural birth control that I found very helpful and very instructive in teaching me more about my body and menstrual cycles.

    Thanks for throwing the baby out with the bath water, Komen. I won't be sending any more money your way. In addition, I'll share this with other women too.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • suz

      The only ones throwing out babies is Planned Parenthood. Literally.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • txeduator

      Mary, PPH ALSO throws the baby out with the bath water! Oops...I meant the baby PIECES out with the AMNIOTIC FLUID. lmbo

      February 2, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. Anthony

    I also will start donating to Komen. PP is a sham.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • xrk9854

      Oh please, you are a MORON. Planned Parenthood does lots of good work helping millions of women. You're blinded by your stupid prejudice. Abortions represent only a tiny sliver of what they do. Better to deny women all the other services they offer because of stupidity, right?

      February 2, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • txeduator

      @ Anthony, I'm going to do the same thing! With the 67% of America that doesn't support ripping babies piece by piece from the inside of their "mothers", Komen should more than make up what the pro-de@th extremists now refuse to contribute. I've avoided donating or helping BECAUSE of this matter. And now, I will help out! @xrk9854, you're an id10t. NO ONE is denying women health care. Why don't you go put your obviously minimal intelligence to work in the health care field and go save all these anonymous women you seem to care so passionately about who are obviously being left to die on the streets because there's NO OTHER health care provider around to manhandle their breasts for cancer. m0r0n....

      February 2, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • DamnUfools

      Go ahead! they will need your donation because people with any sense have withdrawn support from a politicized charity. aside from that there really is no good done actually by sgk themselves. They are fundraisers; and a clearing house for monies, with many executives who earn 6 figures. Your donation will be needed to pay the salaries of those who sit and decide what to do with what little will be left over this year.

      February 2, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rika33

    I've contributed to Komen in the past – I will not do so in the future. It is obviously into politics – any policy that includes "congressional" investigations is simply a device to inject politics. Congressional investigations are a joke – and Komen can no longer be trusted to act for the good of women. Withhold your money and support – that is the only message people like this understand.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. DamnUfools

    I support Planned Parenthood. It is too bad S.G.K. has cut off it's nose to spite it's face. I doubt it will ever recover from this fiasco of a move. Nancy G. Brinker has brought shame to the name of her sister and all for her alliance with the failed tea party Ga. gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel. On a brighter note in Huffington Post; "UPDATE: 3:40 p.m. - Planned Parenthood announced on Wednesday that it has received $400,000 from about 6,000 donors since Komen announced it was cutting funding to the organization on Tuesday afternoon." I hope it continues and corporate sponsors heed the call of their own customers & pull support from Komen as well.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bill Henderson

    Planned Parenthood is all about killing babies. We call that infanticide.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • xrk9854

      Although you may not agree with it, abortion is perfectly legal in this country. Might I suggest you move to Saudi Arabia?

      February 2, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • suz

      Slavery used to be perfectly legal in this country too.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Ah, the good old days

      February 2, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Planned Parenthood is NOT all about abortion.
      That is like saying all maternity wards in all hospitals are nothing more than baby mills…Lebensborn programs…completely negating all of the other services that hospitals provide a community.
      Nothing could be farther from the truth.

      February 2, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. suz

    Waa, waa, waa. The Komen Foundation owes Planned Parenthood nothing, nada, zilch. And so what if the org is pro-life? That's its CHOICE. Yes, CHOICE! The favorite word of abortion supporters everywhere..at least when it serves their interests.

    From a strictly financial standpoint, the article notes that in the last FIVE YEARS, grants have directly supported ONLY 4% of the total exams performed at PP NATIONWIDE. I'm sure somehow, some way, PP will find a way to recover those funds.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • xrk9854

      Their "choice" involves denying millions of women all the other vital services that Planned Parenthood provides. But you are apparently too stupid to realize that.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • suz

      If you'd read the article, stupid, you would know that it only affects approximately 170,000 people. Not "MILLIONS."

      February 2, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      @ suz
      Unlike you anti-abortion nuts, no one here is trying to take away Komen’s right of choice. That doesn’t mean we have to like it. You sound like a complete idiot.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Darth Cheney

    When all is said and done, this will hurt Komen more than PP. Those who care more about women than right-wing politics will find other ways to help. And just because Faux News tells you PP is a left-wing organization doesn't make it so. Fox is the primary manufacturer of the divide in our society.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. MT

    PINK STINKS. Komen leadership needs to fired. After all, 30% of all donations pay their very high salaries.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Danielle


      February 2, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Thinkergal

    Last year Komen hired a V P of Public Policy who is a Sarah Palin disciple, abortion foe, and an avowed enemy of Planned Parenthood–any connection? The so-called "investigation" was begun by an idiot Republican in Congress last year, and has gone NOWHERE. After years as a Komen volunteer, fund-raiser and check writer, I am protesting with my feet and dollars. One more question: Will funding be restored when PP is cleared?

    February 2, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Chuck

    I hope Susan G. Komen needs an abortion to save her life... and the GOP denies her medical treatment.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Pro Sense

      Hey Chuck FYI Susan Komen died some years ago. Just sayin.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tb

    The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation spends donor funds to sue other charities ...
    SGK is saving it's money so it can spend it all on legal fees. Planned Parenthood is just lucky it hasn't tried to use the SGK trademarked color "pink" and inanimate object "ribbon" because they would really be in trouble then.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. Thinkergal

    Grants to PP were done by local Komrn Affiliates based on needs and sensitivity to the community atmosphere. Many Affiliates did not grant to PP at all. Why should a "big brother" dictate this policy from above? Komen has proudly advertised that money raised stays in the local community; local granting committees are certainly better equipped to make these decisions based on due diligence.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
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