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."

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

    Let's talk Percentages....
    Check the CDC for stats not given
    ____% of those women with advanced breast cancer have babies aborted
    ______% of those with semi-advanced breast (cervical) cancer must have abortions to save mothers life
    100% of babies aborted (though only a small percent of funds are used) will not survive
    100% of babies (future donors to Komen) of babies aborted will not survive
    As a donor to a most wonderful organization who gives part of their monies to help others but only a small percent to abort (terminate the life of a baby) God will only hold me accountable for _______%
    How will YOU "play" the odds?

    February 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. why does one give to the other?

    why does a cancer front give to a birth control organization? when estrogen feeds some tumors? there should be an answer for that.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • why does one give to the other?

      seems like they found that progesterone has some role in that also. are they just secretly working to give us cancer so they can make more money off of us?

      February 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • why does one give to the other?

      if people wanted to give to planned parenthood, why wouldn't they just give to planned parenthood? why is a cancer organization giving to an organization that hands out estrogen/progesterones? estrogen feeds some tumors. and there's some involvement with progesterone also. why would that make any sense if they aren't a front company? probably for drug companies and/or radiation machines.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alex

    National news last night linked in a former republican political candidate who stated that her goal was to stop support to Planned Parenthood (who was also supported by Palin) was hired by Komen... now Komen has stopped support of Planned Parenthood. I know this has to be a complete total coincidence, likely made up by liberals and the poor though.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • zivo24

      That former political candidate is named Karen Handel and she is a right-wing, "pro-life" extremist who was trounced in her bid to become governor of Georgia. Nancy Brinker, the founder and CEO, is also a republican with many neo-conservative ties. They have purposely allowed their personal political agendas to undermine this non-profit organizations altruistic goals of preventing, treated and curing breast cancer. They came up with this new "policy" about not funding organizations "under investigation" because they knew already had a neo-con buddy in congress who was doing just that to Planned Parenthood. It was Karen Handel's stated mission when she was a candidate to defund Planned Parenthood in any way she could and now she's doing it through Komen. These two women have abused their positions and created a very unfortunate disaster for this charity. They should both be fired – no severance, no golden parachutes...just escorted off the premises by security officers and the locks changed.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David

    Sorry. No more money for Komen. I to will donate directly to planned parenthood instead.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • irbsod

      yup!

      February 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      Agree. Yesterday I cancelled my 3-Day Walk pledges to 4 different co-workers.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • livingston

      Agree! Now I will continue my donations directly to Planned Parenthood.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • SherwoodOR

      Apparently, then, you're not concerned about breast cancer.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Sherman lept to the conclusion that “Apparently, then, you're not concerned about breast cancer”
      PP will get his donation and provide the same services that Komen gave their funding for: screenings and mammograms.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lee S

    If u are pro life then u are anti human. If someone doesnt want to bring another mouth to feed into this world then I say more power to them. We are beyond capacity folks.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Uh, pretty sure that being pro-choice is literally anti-human. Abortion is the killing of babies. Why would an organization that saves lives (Komen) support a group that kills lives (PP)?

      February 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gurner

      Uh..Phil...I'm pretty sure Pro-Choice is pro-CHOICE, not Pro-Abortion. There are many who are rational enough to decide that abortion would not be right for them, yet still grant that people should have choices about what is happening with their bodies and lives.

      Planned Parenthood's services undoubtedly save many lives, just through health screening for the poor.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      Also Phil just so you know PP doesn't just do abortions, when I was younger that is where I went for screenings, and women's health in general. They are the people I talked to about birth control. They don't use their whole budget on Abortions. They are there to help women who cant otherwise afford the health care that they need. When I was out of a job, they are who I turned to to help me get affordable birth control. They helped me stay responsible.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Katie

    Interesting that this is the ONLY organization associates with Susan G Komen that they've decided to de-fund due to investigation........ And it has nothing to do with abortion, riiiiiiiiight.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Christine

    I am confused about the anti-abortion stand on this issue. If someone aborts a baby, it then returns to God in Heaven, correct? So why is it such a terrible thing? I thought being with God is a good thing – whereas being born onto earth to someone who can't provide for you would be a terrible thing. So Anti-abortion folks – what is the answer? Thank you.

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

      God represents light and life. And you're going to kill it? Would you kill your full grown child? Society would lock you up for that. You are a murderer. Change your position now!

      February 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cherries

      I think their answer is "keep legs together," which..come on now, isn't going to happen. The answer (in my book) is to make access to birth control as easy as buying a pack of gum.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shelly

      Leave My God and me to decide what is right for me. Not having more children than I can support and take care of will not be my choice. So all you busy bodies keep your nose out of my business and God and I will work through it. It is as wrong as to go against God's will and fertilize an egg in a petri dish and then insert it? If God had wanted you to have a baby – you would have gotten pregnant the old fashioned way. You can't have it both ways.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenLaw

      Totally for birth control, the more the merrier. However, I have never supported chopping up women and babies and will gladly now send a check to Komen, thanks for waking up!

      February 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ryan

    to every one of you out there. What if your mother didn't love you enough to let you live? Abortion is murder, and you should change your position on the issue immediately. What if a national decree said that we are overpopulated all children under the age of 12 must die. Are you going to kill your child now because it is inconvenient in terms of economics? How about killing your child now because you want to go back to college instead of paying for your kid's education? You people make me sick, and you should be ashamed, all of you for supporting or committing murder on those who don't have a say in whether or not they get to live.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Ryan, Who are you to tell any women what is right. That is between her and her God. Get the picture. Taking away a womens right to choose is your answer and BTW is protected right of every human being in the United States. That is the law. Deal with it...

      February 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shelly

      Ryan – male I assume. When mankind can arrange it so that a male can give birth only then do you have a right to tell a woman what to do with her body. Only Then. OK? How many have you adopted?

      February 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brock

      Well - in my own belief structure – I would say that I would return to the cosmic cloud, where my soul would wait to be reincarnated into another body, and it would keep repeating this process until I reached adult hood. Once I reach adulthood, I would go about my way trying to learn as much about the world (meanwhile feeding myself on the bodies of plants and animals that have been KILLED for me, so that I may sustain myself). All of this being geared towards a lesson that I've been put here to learn.

      From there, to amuse myself, I'll spend my days listening to whiny Christians (such as you), who can't distinguish their religious belief structure from that which existed in 1945 in a land called Germany (look it up – you might learn something).

      February 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Phil

    Abortion is the killing of babies, no way to get around that. So why would an organization that saves lives (Komen) support a group that kills lives by performing abortions (Planned Parenthood)?

    February 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Suze

      Abortions do not kill babies. What they do is remove a few fertilized cells that will become an unwanted baby if left in place. It is my body my egg so it should be my decision on what to do with my body. Again for those dense people – an fertilized egg is NOT a baby. Is a chicken egg a chicken?

      February 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenLaw

      Suze, keep telling yourself that and maybe you'll feel better.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wicket

      How is detecting breast cancer and saving already-alive humans against life?

      February 2, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. iamdeadlyserious

    It's about time. The Susan G. Komen foundation needs to turn its attention to the actual causes of breast cancer instead of funding free screenings for poor women. They need to do more research into snickering in church, sitting with your legs open while wearing a skirt, mocking Jesus, and voting Democrat. Because we all know that these things cause breast cancer.

    On a more serious note: this is shameful. They've cut off an incredible resource for women because of politics.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • SherwoodOR

      "They've cut off an incredible resource..."

      No. They'll take the same money and give it to some other charity that is not under federal investigation for corruption and that charity will use the money to offer these same services.

      This is actually a good thing for women because it diversifies the provider base. It's not good for one organization to become the all-dominate 800lbs gorilla. It's better when several smaller organizations compete.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Renait

      Sherwood – Komen will not provide that money to some mythical organization that only provides right-wing-approved women's heath services for the poor. There are no organizations that provide free cancer screenings for women and do not provide family planning services as well. Any organization that is approved by the right wing to provide health care services would not provide them to the poor or to women or GOD FORBID to poor women. The slogan of the new republican right is "Kill the poor."

      February 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenLaw

      Renait, maybe where you live but not in Michigan. In Michigan the Dept. of Health in my County provides annuals, birth control and breast screens but NOT abortion. We also have the "Mammogram Bus" that comes around and "Free October" mammograms, so there are options that are free of cost and no babies are injured in the process!

      February 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Margi

    I don't give a rat's backside about the abortions. What bothers me is that women who don't have insurance might not get their mammograms!

    February 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • SherwoodOR

      The Komen foundation will use the same money to fund a different organization, one not under federal investigation for corruption, to provide the same service.

      Komen has not closed its doors. They remain concerned about the same causes. They still want these same women to have screenings. They just want to work with a partner who is not being investigated for corruption. As the old saying goes, "it's the company you keep."

      And this is good for women because it diversifies the base of providers for women's health services. It's always good when to organizations compete.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      You don't care about murder? Authorities should come lock you up as well. How many people will be murdered before you realize it is worth your time and consideration. Over 40 million people have been killed by abortion in the US alone so far. That is worse than the holocaust. Milliions of mini-Hitlers walking around the streets of the US proclaiming their superiority over the life of another. And they kill someone in cold blood because they are an "incovenience". You should be ashamed of yourself for not caring.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Ryan:
      Have a few kids and get back to me.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Not the only choice

    Planned Parenthood is not the only place in America that give mamograms, get over yourselves. As a matter of fact dont they just refer you if they suspect something? Funny thing too while some of you are calling christians and right wingers whackos, don't many christian organizations actually provide mamograms i.e. catholic hospitals and clinics? Also there are scores of places that provide affordable contraceptives and birthcontrol that arent planned parenthood, even a backwoods idiot can get condoms from wal-mart, get over yourselves. Face it you want the option to have abortions cut and dry, you want to have your so called "choice" even at the expense of snuffing out innocent life, when the real "choice" you have is to keep your legs closed.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Face it, that’s the choice that is best for YOU.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Suze

    Just what this nation needs is MORE unloved abused children. What is wrong with a nation that promotes that all children be born but no one wants to feed them, adopt them, they had rather go over seas. It is better not to have an unwanted baby than to have it and neglect it.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Not the only choice

    Planned Parenthood is not the only place in America that give mamograms, get over yourselves. As a matter of fact dont they just refer you if they suspect something? Funny thing too while some of you are calling christians and right wingers whackos, don't many christian organizations actually provide mamograms i.e. catholic hospitals and clinics? Also there are scores of places that provide affordable contraceptives and birthcontrol that arent planned parenthood, even a backwoods idiot can get condoms from wal-mart, get over yourselves. Face it you want the option to have abortions cut and dry, you want to have your so called "choice" even at the expense of snuffing out innocent life, when the real "choice" you have is to keep your legs closed..........

    February 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pam

    Susan G. Komen pays their executives a lot of money–they are as bad as United Way. Much better to give your money directly to the groups you want to fund, and skip these middle men who skim off most of it to line their own pockets. I hope this hurts the Komen Foundation tremendously, and people look more closely at what they actually do with all the money they get. Planned Parenthood provides many health services to low-income, uninsured people. To be singled out by idiots whose only goal is to take away women's choice and force their values on others, claiming that Planned Parenthood is an abortion factory, is typical of these people's thinking.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
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