Thursday, February 02, 2012

Nancy Brinker Defends Decision By Susan G. Komen For The Cure To Cut Breast-Screening Grants To Planned Parenthood

Update February 3rd: This post has now become redundant; Susan G. Komen announced on February 3rd that it has apologized and reversed its decision to cut grants to Planned Parenthood. They will amend their criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, expressed satisfaction with the reversal. However, this post remains a useful source of information on how this situation evolved, so it will not be taken down.

Backlash over the decision by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to cut breast-screening grants to Planned Parenthood has erupted nationwide, and is even wafting over Alaska. Numerous comments posted to the Anchorage Daily News story denounce the decision, although a few brave souls reminded the pitchfork-wielding rabble that, as a private charity, Susan G. Komen can dispense grants to whomever it wants, and if the anklebiters don't like it, they can contribute directly to Planned Parenthood if they so desire. As a matter of fact, the $680,000 in grants have almost been completely replaced by $650,000 in donations from over 6,000 sources, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an additional $250,000 pledge to match future donations.

The backlash even reached the halls of Congress, where Alaska U.S. Senator Mark Begich was among 26 Senators to sign a letter calling upon Komen to reconsider its decision. The others are Sens. Lautenberg, Murray, Mikulski, Boxer, Cantwell, Gillibrand, Menendez, Wyden, Blumenthal, Shaheen, Merkley, Tester, Akaka, Sanders, (Sherrod) Brown, Leahy, Baucus, Cardin, Feinstein, Franken, and Kerry. All are Democrats except for Sanders, who is an Independent.

Although a bit bowed by the firestorm of criticism, Komen CEO Nancy Brinker was unbroken as she took to YouTube to explain the decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood.

Komen said the decision stemmed from newly-adopted criteria barring grants to organizations under investigation, affecting Planned Parenthood because of an inquiry by a Republican congressman acting with encouragement from anti-abortion activists. On September 15th, 2011, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), who heads up the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations, sent a letter to Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood informing her of their intent to investigate the institutional practices and policies of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates, and its handing of federal funding. He asked PPFA to provide all internal audit reports conducted by PPFA and its affiliates from 1998 to 2010.

Brinker also said that there were additional factors, notably changes in the types of breast-health service providers it wanted to support. However, she noted that some grants would continue this year to three of the 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates in Denver, California’s Orange County, and Waco, Texas because they served clientele with few other breast-screening options.

One group expressed support for Komen. Americans United for Life, the pro-life group that pushed for the congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood, hailed the Komen decision. “As a breast cancer survivor, I was always troubled with this whole idea that the nation’s largest abortion provider was enmeshed in the breast cancer fight when they weren’t actually doing mammograms,” said the group’s president, Charmaine Yoest. “I look at this as smart stewardship.”

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has spent 30 years providing real help to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women. They have invested more than $1.9 billion since their inception in 1982. Their namesake, Susan G. Komen, fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and committed to making a difference, Nancy Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. One of their signature events is the annual Race for the Cure; each June, there is an Alaska Run For Women held in Anchorage to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer.

In contrast to the Anchorage Daily News, a majority of the 231 comments posted to The Blaze, a more conservative website, are supportive of Komen's decision.


  1. And there are 0 Comments here?

    But 231 at the Blaze where this article was taken from?

    What's wrong with Alaskan's?

    The truth is, as I have used the B & C (Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program) many, many times over the last 10 years IN Alaska, we don't need Planned Parenthood to do this job for us.

    Planned Parenthood has two clinics in Alaska, both in Anchorage. There are about 16 other places IN Anchorage from which the same person who qualifies for these funded breast (and cervical) cancer screenings can obtain the same (actually better).

    NO ONE needs to involve themselves with abortion at all in order to obtain a cancer screening of breast and/or the cervix.

    And I for one will NEVER again donate at Carrs Store awful annual in-your-face Pink Ribbon stuff.

    I never would have if I'd know I was funding abortions.

    So much for pro-choice, we should have all had the right to "know" before we chose!

    1. Thanks for your comment. You bring up an important point -- that Planned Parenthood is hardly the only player in the game, meaning that their contribution is clearly oversold and over-rated.

      What's wrong with Alaskans, you ask? Well, as long as most Alaskans get a PFD check every year, they're happy. Many Alaskans have become front-running opportunists; look at how so many of them turned against Sarah Palin after she became a national figure, most notably Shannyn Moore.