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. OneSideEmptyOneSideFull

    They are so concerned about giving money to organizations being investigated by the Feds, but they accept money from BOA who is also being investigated by the Feds. That seems hypocritical to me. I know many women who use Planned Parenthood's services and the good they do far outweighs any morally/politically questionable acts.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gail McNertney

      Thank you Koman for saving the lives of millions of unborn women!

      February 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • maniacmudd

      @ gail...saving the lives of millions of unborn women? REALLY?, please remove yourself from the gene pool immediately!

      February 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      Gail, this decision by Komen doesn't save millions of unborn babies. It kills women. It's the absurdity of the vehemently pro-life position - a choice is being made between who should die: women, girls, mother, sisters, daughters vs. the unborn. Don't sleep easily - you've made a choice about who you would prefer to die.

      February 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      @ Gail, and at the same time, killing of women that are all ready on this planet. No affordable pap-smears, no ectopic pregnancy diagnosis, no affordable cancer screenings. No body wants to take care of the human beings all ready living on this planet, if they did, the GOP would get a lot more respect, because then... maybe they would have a point, we don't want you to have an abortion, we will support you during nine months, and adopt the baby, and will protect you from an abusive spouse, but they don't, once they cut that cord... you are on your own in the USA

      February 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Relictus

      Taking money and giving money are different. I would accept a check from the GOP if they were passing out money – and that's low.

      February 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • CBO

      It's very ignorant to say that removing this funding from PP kills women. Give me a break. PP doesn't provide mammograms, they provide basic breast exams through physical palpations - the same exact thing women can have performed by their GP at an annual physical or any routine check up at a general health clinic. Further, it doesn't COST PP anything extra to perform these basic breast exams or to make recommendations to facilities that perform mammograms so they don't need money to fund this "service." By taking the funding from PP, Komen can channel the monies directly to organizations that actually perform mammogram services and directly help diagnose and treat women, thus actually SAVING women's lives.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Billy

    So an organization decides to pull funding for reasons of general policy in that PP is being investigated for all kinds of horrible crimes, and it was not a political decision, and you are all ready to punish Susan G Komen? Can a company not be neutral? These grants are still available to women at different clinics, they just will not be going to Planned Parenthood.

    What a bunch of bullies picking on Komen...

    February 1, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      you're a guy, how does this affect you? No, it is just another way for Republicans to camp out in our uteruses. Do you even know of Planned Parenthoods committing any crimes? I went to PP all throughout my college years for birth control pills, otherwise, I would have had a kid on welfare leeching off of society. And I have never been treated with anything but respect from their staff who get paid peanuts to help people without adequate funds to pay for medical necessities

      February 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      What horrible crimes?

      February 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • really?

      "for all kinds of horrible crimes, " .. yeah you don't sound biased. Nope, no ax to grind here. Maybe if you didn't let unsubstantiated attacks pollute your message I might be more willing to listen. Let me try: "OneSideEmptyOneSideFull, being the racist, baby eater he is, should not be allowed to post on CNN. " Was that true? Nope, but it doesn't have to be because I glossed over the attack portion so quickly that I don't leave it open for debate, instead just stating my biased, uniformed opinion as fact. Isn't that kinda slimy and low?

      February 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • really?


      February 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      Well fraud to start..
      They were also caught covering up sex crimes against minors. If you look into it I'm sure you'll find plenty more.

      February 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      GOP created horrible crimes.... im sure fox has a top 10 list

      February 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • thelightison

      sometimes it only takes a little common sense, not rhetoric and dellusion billie. this charity is on the government teat too...take a look at their finacials..not so much of the money they collect as a tax exempt organisation even goes to cancer research, or a cure, maybe 10 %? the very thing you despise, women's rights , government spending, "taking away freedoms" , is the very thing you endorse here ...too funny, i.q. of 50 republicans are histarical

      February 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Provide link please. I have searched but am unable to locate articles concerning your claims.

      February 2, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • CBO

      I love all the crazy libs on CNN lambasting the few socially conservative people who bother to still read this site for being conservative. Liberals are only open-minded so long as you agree with their liberal views. Talk about hypocritcal, narrow minded morons.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. Henk in Colorado

    I did the only thing that I have control over: I just sent Planned Parenthood a $100 donation.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      I'll be sure to send Komen a donation.

      February 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • ConA

      Thanks Henk. I'm with you.

      February 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Relictus

      Thank you, Henk!

      February 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Irina

      Me too.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Hey, I just a donated to Planned Parenthood too. Let's see if we can bankrupt poor Billy.
      Yo Billy: I donated $50! You are gonna match?

      February 3, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. TORI ©

    What the hell! Komen's main mission was to raise awareness on breast cancer and assist women in getting mamographies. Something went way off the rail here. I will no longer partiicipate in Race for the Cure. You will get your stupid tee shirts back.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      Because they decided to stop contract with PP because they were being investigated for all kinds of crimes, including fraud? How petty is that...

      February 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. COlady

    Komen has lost my support, at least until they undo this ridiculous decision!!

    February 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      They likely will not reverse it now, this was meant to be a quiet decision made from policy, not politics. Planned Parenthood decided to blast Komen in the media and make it political, that is called burning bridges.

      February 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bear0402

    I wonder where the "smaller government" advocates are now.....They want smaller government until it comes to abortions, what sex we are allowed to have sex with, what language we speak, what economic class we are part of, or what god we pray to. Talk about a class of hypocrites. If these issues really are against god's will, do you not think that he will handle things when the time comes? Since when is it up to religion to dictate these issues, considering that religion is a man made creation.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. T3chsupport

    Really, this is going to flip right around and bite the pro lifers in the @s$.
    -Less birth control access = more unwanted pregnancies.
    -More unwanted pregnancies = more abortions.
    -Abortion is more expensive than birth control, but having a child is more expensive than abortion.
    -Abortion services are not really 'funded'. It's not like a woman walks in with a coupon for a free abortion, and that's that- government funded abortion. No, any 'funding' is going to the general company expenses. The same funding that is used for birth control, pap smears, STD tests, counseling, breast exams.
    -People are going to remember this. They will remember why they stopped donating to this organization, and they will remember that there's another one they can donate to instead. Those who support SGK's decision who did not previously donate and do so now to make a statement- they may donate for awhile, but it will drop off after a time.

    EVERYONE loses. All sides.

    So good job, Xtian Taliban. Enjoy your cake.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • spare

      This is called political idiocy masquerading as faulty logic.

      And, I said it couldn't be done .... silly me.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      For every time you used the word abortion – replace it with murder and see how that sounds. IF PP completely relied on SK, this would be a major story – but they don't. And, in fact, they won't be closing their doors because of this. But, if the Komen money is that important to PP – then they should stop murdering the unborn women who don't get a chance to come into this world and make a difference.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Doc

    It's their money to do with as they please. Planned Parenthood had made some really bone-headed moves lately so can you really blame the Susan G Komen Foundation for wanting away from them???

    February 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      like? u have 2 dolts spewing HORRIBLE crimes and FEDERAL CRIMES but all u have is bone headed moves....
      makes the 3 of u look like rtards

      February 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      like? u have 2 dolts spewing HORRIBLE crimes and FEDERAL CRIMES but all u have is bone headed moves....
      makes the 3 of u look like rta rds

      February 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ottawanaba

      @Doc, no genius it isnt their money. It's money we all contributed to. Whether thru raising awareness, tax exemption or direct support. I'm so sick of people having a say on women's productive rights. Like its been said if you don't want an abortion or dont support it THEN don't get one! Dont force your beliefs on others. Some of you stated what if my mother had the same stance well then as much as I value my life I wouldnt be here. I fail to see what a woman's choice has to do with your beliefs. You bunch of hypocrites. You're the same ones who would not support WIC programs that help all those unwanted babies after they're to be born. My brother didnt support the Iraq war but went to serve anyway and paid the ultimate price. You see we can all come with BS we dont support but who are you to tell a woman what choice to make in regards to her body. Its between her, her conscious and her God if she believes. How is that so hard?

      February 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Never Assume

    Why do right wing nut jobs always think they have to get their way – and then foist it upon everybody else, too?

    February 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      it is how the christian taliban works. u r either with them or u r against them

      February 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • level

      Why do you believe "having your way" is exclusive to right wing, conservative, christians. The exact same can be said of left wing, liberal, atheists. There is ALWAYS another side that shares a same selfish motive. SGK made their decision because of their corporate belief/policy... isn't that what most people want to do? As for the fallout of their CHOICE, as many people who oppose and withdraw support, the others will backfill and endorse with support.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. Theend

    I just cancelled my Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure entry; I'll send the donation to Planned Parenthood instead... Many young women fighting breast cancer undergo abortions so they can start chemotherapy treatment to save their lives. Forcing women to postpone chemo treatment and go through with the their pregnancy, as many pro-life advocates demand, would be a death sentence to the woman.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      Agreed. No woman can undergo chemo if she is pregnant. Pro-lifers don't understand this. Do you know how rampant cancer is? We would be killing off a woman who actually might be fine with early detection, and a round of chemo, but post-poning treatment for nine months gives the cancer an upper hand. Now try fighting it. What you republicans don't understand is when the right wants to take our rights away from us, they are left with all the power, who dies, who lives, it'll be the poor. and it'll be women, but rest assured this decision would not affect Newt Gingrich in the slightest

      February 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Alison

    I am a huge supporter of Planned Parenthood in every capacity, but I gave them an extra donation yesterday because of all this. They supported me when I lost my job, when I got a low-paying job, and when I got back on my feet again. Hands down one of the best organizations I've ever worked with or utilized. It saddens me that Susan G. Komen put politics before health. I didn't realize how many people were skeptical about the group's goals of late -it definitely shows that they have lost their way with what's important. I hope they will somehow make a decision to give funds back to Planned Parenthood -because it's a very valuable relationship -but I see no reason to thank them for anything. People need to get over their anti-choice stances: Planned Parenthood works very hard to make abortions as rare as possible.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Irina

      Thank you for great post. My friend was denied mammogram by several doctors when she didn't have insurance. Only PP did the mammogram and found cancer. I can't believe somebody can't see great value in PP.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. No More

    I used to donate time and money. Seems they have lost sight. My money will be donated elsewhere. Leave politics out of breast cancer prevention!

    February 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Trembley


      February 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Susan Thomas

    Very sad. Komen has lost sight of its mission. Not to mention that this decision is objectively anti-woman. I am hoping that others will make up for the loss and ensure that Planned Parenthood will continue to have a positive impact on our society.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ConA

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty? I will be donating to PP too.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jim

    Well, I just made a donation to Planned Parenthood after reading the details of the "investigation" launched by a Republican hack. PP has been audited continuously by the Dept. of Health and Human Services, including 8 years under Bush, and everything was fine. Suddenly some Bozo in Congress decides to burnish his anti abortion credentials with the base and blows a bunch of tax dollars on a witch hunt.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      That is exactly what i am saying, people say Planned Parenthood has allegations against them. if it is a Republican just trying to gather votes before the fall, he will say or do anything to get them shut down, or make it look like he will, because Planned Parenthood does everything by the books. if these allegations were brought up, the Republican's first year in Congress, then maybe it might be true or if a democrat were investigating them, then it wouldn't the motive wouldn't seem suspect

      February 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
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