AOC Stands with Planned Parenthood As Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation Cuts Poor Women's Breast Exams
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The biggest story for American women today is Susan G. Komen dropping its funding for Planned Parenthood. Being generally ambiguous about its reasons for cutting funds for Planned Parenthood’s mammogram services, huge numbers of American women smelled a rat.
It’s no secret that Planned Parenthood is a victim of the Republican War on Women. In a development just in, Jezebel reports Komen recently hired as its Vice President of Communications one Karen Handel, a Sarah Palin-endorsed, rabidly anti-choice failed gubernatorial candidate from Georgia. As a candidate Handel was vocally in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood. Presumably she has now taken that belief to the Susan G Komen organization, whose founder Nancy Brinker was a major donor to George W. Bush.
The LA Times writes that Handel couldn’t be reached for comment today, nor did executives for the Komen foundation respond to requests for comment. Their article quotes Handel’s stated negative stance on Planned Parenthood.
NPR reports that Komen has lost donations from several Catholic dioceses around the country, and so their decision will open them up for donations from the prolife movement. The total amount that Komen donated to Planned Parenthood last year was $680,000, and the loss is being made up in significant online donations and a single check already in hand of $250,000 from the family foundation of Dallas oilman/philanthropist Lee Fikes and his wife, Amy. Planned Parenthood reports that they raised more than $400,000 from more than 6,000 online donors as of this afternoon.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s publishing division was also recently forced to pull its line of pink-bound Bibles because of complaints that some of the proceeds donated to Komen might be finding their way to Planned Parenthood.
Komen has now issued an official statement, writes NPR:
Komen says it was forced to make the move by a new policy that prevents it from giving grant money to groups that are under investigation. In this case, the focus is a congressional inquiry launched last fall by Florida Republican Cliff Stearns, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Investigative Subcommittee. He is looking into whether Planned Parenthood is using federal money to fund abortions.
“This is a trumped-up investigation by some Republicans in the Congress who have a vendetta against Planned Parenthood,” said Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California.
“The work of the Komen Foundation has lifesaving potential and should not be intertwined with an industry dealing in death,” said Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life.
Nancy Goodman Brinker is the founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, an organization named for her only sister, Susan, who died from breast cancer in 1980 at age 36. Previously she was US Ambassador to Hungary from 2001 to 2003 and Chief of Protocol of the United States from 2007 to the end of the George W. Bush administration. Brinker is a breast cancer survivor.
For her work on breast cancer research, TIME magazine named the relentless crusader for breast cancer victims to its 2008 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Calling her “a catalyst to ease suffering in the world,” President Barack Obama honored Brinker with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor on August 12, 2009. via Wiki
We’re uncovering a long history of attempts by the prolife movement to penalize Komen’s support for Planned Parenthood. As recently as last year, Brinker sat on the advisory council for Planned Parenthood of North Texas.
Komen’s decision to drop its support of Planned Parenthood may back fire far worse than they imagined possible. Even many prolife women disapprove of making the totality of women’s health a war zone over abortion. Outraged members of Congress like Colorado’s Rep Diana DeGette, a Democrat issued a statement:
“I don’t see two groups at war with each other,” DeGette said. “I see the Komen Foundation declaring war on women’s health. Planned Parenthood has done everything they’ve been asked to do. And with their own private money, with 3 percent of their services or less, they do abortions, which the last I heard were still legal in this country.”
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said on the House floor that she could no longer support Komen, the charity known for its pink ribbons and products. I have been a big booster of the Susan G. Komen organization,” Speier said. “But not anymore.”
“They’ve really hurt their own cause,” said Judith Waxman, vice president of health and reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center, according to The Hill.
She said Komen has alienated part of its fundraising and advocacy base while undermining its core mission — helping fight breast cancer. Planned Parenthood performed about 170,000 breast-cancer screenings over the past five years with Komen funding. Previously, Komen has said that no other organization met the needs of poor women receiving mammograms.
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