The nation's largest breast cancer charity, the pink-ribbon-festooned Susan G. Komen Foundation, has succumbed to right-wing pressure and defunded Planned Parenthood of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants—$680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before—money that primarily paid for breast exams for poor women.
Over the past five years, Komen funds have enabled Planned Parenthood health centers to provide nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and referrals for more than 6,400 mammograms. Now Komen says they've withdrawn their support because Planned Parenthood is under investigation by Congress (an investigation launched by right-wing, anti-choice groups) but the issue, as always, comes down to abortion.
“At the heart of this issue is the shameful ‘investigation’ of Planned Parenthood by House Republicans trying to score political points and appease their extreme right-wing base," said Senator Patty Murray in a statement. "Komen should not allow these sort of partisan games to put women across America at risk... this decision will cut women off from the health care providers they rely on for critical preventive care."
Senator Murray is half right, but it's not just about bowing to political pressure. It turns out, Komen is staffed by powerful anti-choice assholes. Here's what Komen's SVP public policy director, Karen Handel, had to say about Planned Parenthood in 2010, while (unsuccessfully) running for governor in Georgia:
"Let me be clear, since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood. During my time as Chairman of Fulton County, there were federal and state pass-through grants that were awarded to Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as a “Healthy Babies Initiative"... I'll eliminate them as your Governor."
Wow! What a socially responsible person hag.
It's clear that Handel and her Komen cohorts are no longer racing for a cure—they've stopped for a water break and to wage a holy war on Planned Parenthood, and they're willing to sacrifice the heath of thousands of women in the process. But hey, maybe next year they'll charitably donate a few thousand pink coffins to us poor ladies who relied on Planned Parenthood's free breast cancer screenings for early detection.
I think Komen should be reminded that their charity war chests come from thousands of women (and their families) who also donate to Planned Parenthood, support breast cancer research and women's right to comprehensive health care, and don't like being fucked with. Planned Parenthood is accepting donations to continue its breast cancer screenings HERE.