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Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood

Why Did Susan G. Komen For the Cure Cut Off Funding to Planned Parenthood?

For years Susan G. Komen for the Cure has provided Planned Parenthood grants for breast cancer screenings. It recently decided to cut off the women's health provider, causing outrage among many supporters of both groups. Petitions to Komen to change its mind have been circulating on Facebook and across the Internet.

After Komen's decision became public, Planned Parenthood told supporters that "after facing pressure from anti-women's health political organizations, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has announced that it is ending future funding for lifesaving breast cancer screenings and breast health education at Planned Parenthood health centers." Supporters know Planned Parenthood provides crucial services besides abortion, and critics of Komen's choice to stop funding assert the irony of cutting off life-saving cancer screenings to show you're pro-life.

As evidence that the decision was politically motivated, women's health activists could point to a recent backlash against Komen from the Evangelical Christian group LifeWay. LifeWay was selling pink Bibles to benefit Komen, when it discovered the breast cancer group gave money to Planned Parenthood. LifeWay immediately pulled the Bibles, getting the attention of pro-life activists. In addition, Komen's founder and CEO, Nancy G. Brinker, is a longtime Republican with ties to the Bush family, and the foundation's newly hired vice president is a former politician with known pro-life positions. Also, Komen cited a controversial investigation of Planned Parenthood in Congress started by a staunchly pro-life member.


Even so, Susan G. Komen's founder and CEO maintained its decision to not fund organizations under investigation is part of a broad effort to reorganize donations and make them more efficient. See Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Nancy G. Brinker explain the foundation's decision below.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
dashsuede dashsuede 5 years
@lizlee89 I respect pro-life people who are actively helping those women who have a child and are in need. But don't make the assumption that everyone even had the education to make informed decisions about their sexual life and contraception. Don't even assume that women know that their is help even if they have a child. I think the topic should be preventing unwanted pregnancies rather than eliminating women's choice. But it seems to me you believe that life starts at conception which I don't necessarily agree with, so...
dashsuede dashsuede 5 years
@lizlee89 The subject is abortion. You are against women having the right to choose abortion. Which means you are anti-choice. Does that not make sense?
lizlee89 lizlee89 5 years
oh, I also have to touch on the whole issue of abortion being necessary because so many people can't afford to have a baby - there are so many sources of monetary and emotional help, starting with contraception. while I personally am against birth control and other artifical forms of pregnancy prevention, a lot of people are not, and it is accessible. if men and women, whatever their financial status, don't utilize abstinence or some form of contraception, why should the child have to die? two wrongs do not make a right. the same goes for abortion in the case of rape, incest, disease, or whatever other unfortunate circumstance people think necessitates terminating the life of a child. no pro-life person wants those things; is not okay with those things. it's not about "punishing" a woman for something she can't control; it's about not punishing a child who did not have any control of the situation either. people who are pro-life are not anti-woman or insensitive to men and women who cannot afford to have children; in fact, they are some of the most supportive, running shelters and centers to help those women with financial asisstance, counseling, or whatever they need (as long as it is not harmful). we care, and that is why we are pro-life...
lizlee89 lizlee89 5 years
you're right dachsuede; it is important to speak up about what you believe, and, unfortunately, it has worked as Susan G. Komen has reversed their decision. to me, that sucks that they backed down to pressure, but I know that not everybody has the same beliefs...
lizlee89 lizlee89 5 years
haha, "anti-choice." it hilarious how people try to change the language so that their ignorant views seem more valid. people who are pro-life are not "anti-choice" - we all believe that everyone has the choice to not have children through abstinence (this does not mean that you never have sex, but rather abstain from sex when you are fertile - it's called Natural Family Planning). also, some people believe that artifical methods of contraception should be used. either way, EVERYONE who is pro-life believes people should only get pregnant when they want to have a child. we are the ultimate in being pro-choice. however, if a woman becomes pregnant without planning, she and the man ought to take responsibility for that HUMAN BEING, and either give birth and raise that child, or give it up for adoption. now, I know, many of you think such ideas or old-fashioned, or unrealistic, and that's fine - I'm just telling you what pro-life people believe and want...
lyndsayelle lyndsayelle 5 years
Can you get a refund?
dashsuede dashsuede 5 years
I can't argue with people who are anti-choice because they are clearly too ignorant for help. It's good to know you'd rather not support someone finding out they have breast cancer just because someone (for whatever reason) is having an abortion in the next room.
dashsuede dashsuede 5 years
@lizlee89 We can demand all we want and hope that someone hears us and gives a damn. At least that may be why others are directing their donations to PP because we ask. Komen doesn't have to do what the public wants, but there is power in the people and people will start to give their money to someone else.
lizlee89 lizlee89 5 years
I'm not even going to approach the abortion issue because it is such a sensitive topic, but what I don't understand is how people can be outraged over the decision of a private organization. It is their right to do what they believe with the money they are given. You can't demand that Susan G. Komen donate to Planned Parenthood any more than you can demand any orgnaization donate. They are not the government, and they don't have to do what the public wants. If you don't like, give your money to someone else...
MrsRachel MrsRachel 5 years
@lyndsayelle I would like to point out that last year Komen donated $629,159 to PP last year, which is roughly 0.0006% of PP's overall income. While this amount made it impossible for me and others to support Komen (due to conflicting ideologies between myself and PP) it hardly posses a hardship to PP. In addition, the Komen foundation's donations are up by 100% since they severed ties. I certainly am not the only one that appreciates the more singular focus they now have.
lyndsayelle lyndsayelle 5 years
"It's incredibly disappointing for an organization founded on protecting women's health to play politics with real women's lives," I know that PP will sustain and other donors will come along. but its still disappointing. I know many people, including myself, who have benefited from the services (NOT abortions) provided.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
That's a really interesting perspective, MrsRachel. I work for an organization that raises money for cancer treatment and prevention and we actually had a few donors who gave to us over Susan G Komen because of the PP issue. There are so many nonprofits out there, for breast and many other other cancers that impact women, that I don't completely understand the outrage over this.
MrsRachel MrsRachel 5 years
Personally, I am thrilled by this news. Before I (and MANY) others could not in good conscience support the Komen Foundation. Now I can. Breast cancer runs pretty deep in my family and it is nice to be able to stand with the Komen Foundation. For those who disagree with my elation because they support PP they CAN still support Komen because they aren't doing anything ideologically incongruent; as Komen was before with my beliefs. What we have now is a situation where both sides of the abortion debate can support finding a cure for cancer.
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