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. Joshua

    The more dead babies the better! Medical hit men have nothing to fear, and we're going to get paid!

    February 1, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lenny Pincus

    Komen–a breast cancer awareness organization with a hidden right wing political agenda. No opinion, just a fact.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jack johnson

    The pink ribbons will now be Blood red!

    February 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • stanJames

      witht he blood of our wives and others – especially those who cant afford or get med insurance. Also note how the repubs morals include leaving people to die on the hospital steps.

      Along with the catholic church that claims to protect life.

      A few interesting links re the church, eg the endless HIDDEN molestation of children for God only knows how long..............................

      http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23369148-pope-led-cover-up-of-child-abuse-by-priests.do

      http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories5/040704_vermont.htm

      http://articles.philly.com/2011-02-11/news/28350473_1_grand-jury-report-barbara-dorris-three-other-priests

      February 1, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Norighttomurderanyone

    For those of you who say " If you dont believe in abortions, then dont get one".............then lets give the child a chance to answer the question.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      I would like to personally invite you to talk a pregnant girl out of an abortion, take her home, feed her, clothe her, pay her medical bills, and adopt the child afterward, with no imput from birth mother.
      What do you say?

      February 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Out of the womb into poverty and neglect. Who is to care for this unwanted child of God?

      February 1, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pedro McNorights

      Why don't we get in a time machine and ask your mother if she wants one.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      How about, if you have your own set of morals and beliefs try to keep them to yourself and stop trying to legislate your moral code?

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

      adopt that child and pay for the woman's nine month medical expenses and lost wages and house her too for the duration of her pregnancy then you can get the child's input. You are just another republican taking away a woman's options without giving her any other choices... LIKE FREE BIRTH CONTROL FOR ALL. That would almost make abortion obsolete except in cases of rape, incest or medical necessity

      February 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Ahhh another foster child that needs to be fed out of my wallet. When he or she gets old I then need to pay for their stay at a state facility. Could really care less.

      I don't want to pay for a abortion, but I also don't want to pay to feed a foster child.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • kim

      If you're a male, you're not entitled to any opinion on this.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • stanJames

      this issue goes far beyond abortions. rumors on the web is the catholic church is behind a bill to outlaw birth control devices. which btw due to religious groups deisre for more minds to control were mostly outlawed until about 1920.

      Wahts next with the republicans who talk about "freedom" registering or making illegal coathangers, and having KGB thugs coming into our homes monthly to check if we have any coathangers or other stiff wire devices?

      This is the first step on making America into a Christian Iran. or saudi arabia.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jim beranis

    Forget the politics people, this organization is denying women from detecting cancer. Period.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      AMEN!

      February 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • stanJames

      the catholic church is also behind this Komen biz. Its how they protect life of your wife or daughter, as well as the repubs who would let you die on the hospital steps.

      As for those who say "how would I like to be aborted – I'd never have the least awareness or understanding. Maybe i'd be born in a future when mankind puts ultra- conservative religions who live in the dark ages of human history in the trashcan.

      We certainly ahve. Try this link

      http://articles.cnn.com/2009-01-26/world/pope.holocaust.denial_1_bishop-richard-williamson-bishop-bernard-fellay-holocaust-denier?_s=PM:WORLD

      February 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Reality

    Without invoking some diety, or "because I said so," can anyone explain why a fertilized egg or blog of cells is entitled to occupy another person's body.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mickey

      Oh you just know the explanation will involve a verse from the Bible or the wonderful suggestion that "life" begins at conception.

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

    Lets hope that those that support Komen will now pull their support. I don't understand why Komen would bend to the will of the religious-right. I figured Komen had more sense than to bow to pressure by those that believe praying the cancer away is a viable option. If Komen wants to bow to that group then they don't need money. Prayer is free.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Agree......kinda silly to support the fund raising schemes when you now see the true colors. They have gone from supporting women in general to being a pawn for someone else agenda.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Eric

    To those who have battled through cancer and those who have campaigned to find a cure, it is with great regret that I must withdrawal any and all future pledges/donations to the Susan G Komen for the Cure Foundation. In a move that was clearly motivated by relentless political pressure from conservative and pro-life groups, the Susan G Komen for the Cure Foundation announced it will stop funding breast cancer prevention, screenings and education at Planned Parenthood health centers across the United States.

    To all of my friends and family who I supported over the years, I will continue to support your efforts with donations to any of the other wonderful cancer research foundations in our country who do not let politics and bullying from anti-choice groups influence who can and should receive treatment.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Same here. I don't support either side of this and their agenda. But when you turn something that benefits people in general into your pawn it;s time for my monetary support to go as well.

      Sister lost everything with the collapse of the economy and that's where she goes for her exams.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • stanJames

      its time to end supporting religious indoctrination schemes called faith based initiatives. I've read that we're spending 2.3 billion annualy from the feds.

      did you ever hear of any republican calling for removal of this expense with which we can do without.

      Or calling for the end of tax free status for churches that interfere with govt, violating their tax free status.????

      February 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim

    Better that women die from breast cancer than a single fertilized egg be destroyed.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Coming from a man, that means so…nothing at all.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Banasy – I have three daughters and one granddaughter. I do not want the government getting involved in their very personal decisions.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      And if that woman is the young mother of the child that was born of this fertilized egg. Think.... you idiot!

      February 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Perhaps the sarcasm in my post was not apparent. Governement and religous zealots should mind their own business.

      Sorry Banasy.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Good for you, Bob!
      I was talking to Jim, who said it’s better to let a breast cancer victim die, though.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Oh, you forgot to use the sarcasm font!
      There are people who actually think that way, though, Jim.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • kim

      Pig.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Banasy – there's a sarcasm font? It never occured to me that my comment would be taken seriously because it seems so absurd. But as you pointed out, there ARE people that feel that way, they are just beyond my comprehension.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Kim – I can see I've made a terrible mistake. My comment was not intended to be serious. It was a poor attempt at sarcasm. The whole concept of what I actually wrote seemed so absurd that I never thought it wold be taken seriously.

      My apologies.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • stanJames

      the catholic church doesnt care – they need more minds to control

      Remember how the church demonized Jews as Christ-killers.? its not surprising that we see these photos from the Popes home country during the 1930s etc

      http://nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm

      February 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jim beranis

    Mitt Romney doesn't worry about the poor, so why should Komen?

    February 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. fernace

    Open post to all you "prolife" dudes on this thread! Have you ever been pregnant, wanted, unwanted or undecided!? Have you ever been in the position to have to make a decision alone, because your girlfriend ran away when she found out she had knocked you up & in fact denied the child was hers!? The government is continually trying to legislate what a woman can/can't do with her uterus; when was the last(or 1st) time they tried to legislate what you can/can't do w/your tes.ticles!? How would you feel about that if it happened!? If life starts in the womb, I'll take it 1 step further! Life starts w/spe.rm.atozoa & it needs to be legislated! Let's start w/GOP-TP in congress! Get the message!?

    February 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      It is funny, isn’t it fernace…that these men don’t step up to plate and adopt a whole passel of kids by themselves?
      Much easier to demonize the women…

      February 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TexInd

    This has got to be one the craziest moves by any non profit ever! The amount of donations and companies that will now pull out from supporting the walks wiill have no choice but to opt out to not get involved! I can't imagine one HR department that can now ask thier employees to supports this group without getting backlashed by their employees! What on earth was the thinking? If the True Mission of the group is to find a cure for breast cancer why on earth would you piss off any group that could donate. Not one church will change their donations to support these walks!

    February 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sandy

    descarado, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for comparing the holocaust to abortion. You defame the millions of people who died at the hands of the Nazis just to make your little political point. You represent the worst in civility by stooping to cheap little theatrics. It's fine for you to disagree about abortions. As others keep saying, if you dislike it, don't do it. If you want to wage an argument for your view, then use that little brain of yours. But don't resort to foolish analogies in which you demean the memories of all those people who were tortured and killed in the holocaust.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bob

    From today forward, Komen will forever be just another questionable political organization pleading for money.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mike

    LOL...guess that gives you an idea of where your donations go. Hope a lot of people are rethinking their participation in their fund raising activities. Get your Susan G Komen pink shirts with stop abortion stamped across them. Can't see this turning out good and it's the poor that will get hit hardest by this with their inability to get decent medical care and exams.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
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