Friday, February 10, 2012

Susan G. Komen v. Planned Parenthood


     The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation recently decided to pull the plug on its financial support of Planned Parenthood.  The reduction in funding, which has led to a nation-wide debate, has led to a spike in Planned Parenthood online donations. 
Typically, the Planned Parenthood organization receives an average of 100 or 200 online donations every day.  However, after Susan G. Komen suspended its support, this amount rose to an astonishing 6,000 online donations, raising a grand total of $400,000.
 “People respond powerfully when they see politics interfering with women’s health. That’s why we’ve seen a tremendous outpouring of support,” Tait Sye, a spokesman for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said.
Komen officials originally told the Associated Press that they decided to stop funding Planned Parenthood due to a new national policy that barred support for organizations under government investigation.  Charmaine Yoest, President of Americans United for Life, endorsed the national policy that places Planned Parenthood in direct violation of Susan G. Komen’s new policy. 
“I have to say, it was some of the best news of my entire life,” Yoest said about the Komen decision. “We’re so used to seeing Planned Parenthood succeed at defining themselves as the trendy place to be, and for Komen to make such a smart decision in recognizing the reality behind Planned Parenthood spin,” she adds. “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. I look at this as smart stewardship.”
Last September, a House committee initiated an examination of Planned Parenthood’s compliance with federal restrictions on funding abortions.
In response to this announcement, Planned Parenthood proposed a counter-statement that contributes the Komen’s fund cutoffs to the influence of anti-abortion activists.  Additionally, Planned Parenthood stated that the loss of funds is also partly to blame on recently-hired Komen vice president, Karen Handel, who had previously advocated for the group’s defunding in her run as Georgia governor.
            However, just a few days following the massive public backlash of this decision, Susan G. Komen founder, Nancy Brinker, released a public announcement apologizing to the family planning organization, stating that Komen will preserve its eligibility for future grants.
            “We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives. . . We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically to penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not,” Brinker announced in the statement.
 “Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That s what is right and fair,” Brinker said.

Article compiled by reporter: Emily Jadwin 

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