WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 2012 — In a move that has already been called “anti-women,” “an act of cowardice,” and “disgusting,” the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation announced yesterday that it is halting its grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings and other women’s health services.
Komen officials said the decision was made because of a newly adopted rule that prevents them from funding organizations that are under government investigation — which Planned Parenthood is — but critics have suggested that the move was a matter of politics, not policy.
Pro-life activists have been lobbying for years to convince Komen to sever its ties with Planned Parenthood, which offers a variety of valuable services (birth control, breast exams) but has been weighed down by its reputation as “an abortion clinic” — despite the fact that pregnancy terminations comprise only three percent of the organization’s services, according to
the Daily Kos. Cancer screening and prevention, on the other hand, account for 17 percent.
Planned Parenthood centers do not perform mammograms, but they do offer manual breast exams, refer women to other screening centers, and pay for tests for women who cannot afford them. In the last five years alone, they’ve provided approximately 4 million breast exams and 70,000 referrals, of which 170,000 and 6,400, respectively, have been paid for using funds from Komen. That may seem like a small piece of the pie, but most of those thousands of women might never have gotten care otherwise — and might not get care now, if Planned Parenthood can’t find a way to make up for the missing grants.
Also at risk are many of the special programs started by regional Planned Parenthood affiliates to educate and treat women in minority groups and low-income areas, many of whom consider their local centers to be their primary source of health care. One such program in California provides breast health education in hair and nail salons for Vietnamese women. Another specifically targets uninsured women who need important cancer screenings. Both may now cease to exist without funding from Komen.
Several supporters have stepped up to help Planned Parenthood recoup its losses — Dallas philanthropist Lee Fikes and his wife, Amy, donated $250,000 to the group’s Breast Health Emergency Fund — but many worry that valuable services could still be cut in the meantime. Furthermore, Komen may lose some of its own funding from people who feel that the organization gave into political pressure and put its personal agenda above the greater good.
"It's hard to understand how an organization with whom we share a mission of saving women's lives could have bowed to this kind of bullying," Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told the Associated Press. "It's really hurtful."
Hurtful — and perhaps even harmful.
Are you angry — or relieved — that Komen has decided to sever ties with Planned Parenthood? Sound off in the comments!
Source : https://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health/0201/why-the-komen-planned-parenthood-split-is-bad-for-womens-health.aspx