01 February 2012

Komen Halts Grants to Planned Parenthood

Great news to mark the end of the Christmas season-- news that proves the value of prayer, persistence and Catholic action.  The Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization has decided to halt all grants to Planned Parenthood.

This is a huge victory for all pro-lifers, and I might add especially the Catholic Church's pro-lifers.  Why?  This is an issue that the bishops were vocal about.  Of particular merit were the efforts of the Archdiocese under the leadership of both Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Carlson, who consistently urged Catholics not to support Komen while its partnership with Planned Parenthood lasted-- even though the local Komen affiliate did not donate to Planned Parenthood from its local funds.  And now the principled opposition has paid off.

Catholics often find themselves at odds with the popular mindset.  It leads to uncomfortable situations where our friends and neighbors cannot understand why we believe and act the way we do.  After all, who would be against Cancer research?  Who doesn't want to support the effort to help people who suffer from a horrible disease?

Each year, we see the streets filled with pink shirts, we see even sports figures, commercial products and lots of other causes touting their support for Komen.  We even see well-meaning Catholics whose relatives, perhaps, fought cancer and participate in the Race for the Cure--hopefully, but probably not always, without knowing the link that was between them and the murder of babies.  And the defenders of the unborn are scorned if they don't join the throng.

Now that barrier is no more.  Good news indeed, even if this cause doesn't motivate you.  It shows that principled resistance can succeed, regardless of how hopeless it looks.  It gives plenty of hope in the effort to resist the conscience violations inherent in the Obamacare program.

The published media reports are predictable. Instead of touting the healing of this rift, they call it the creation of a rift between Komen and a group that "helps" so many women.  To kill their babies, that is.  I can't remember the source, but in doing my news review for this post, I read that 90% of the women who are clients of Planned Parenthood will have an abortion.  So you can stow all that "women's health" garbage. 

The STLToday story is consistent with most reports.  Planned Parenthood claims the decision was due to pressure from Pro-lifers; Komen denies it.  I was going to edit it down a little, but I really kind of enjoy the whining from the baby-killing crowd.  Is that wrong?: 

Komen ends grants for Planned Parenthood 

The nation's leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates — creating a bitter rift, linked to the abortion debate, between two iconic organizations that have assisted millions of women.

The change will mean a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.

Planned Parenthood says the move results from Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists. Komen says the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress — a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups.

While Planned Parenthood affiliates in St. Louis have never received grants from Komen, the national decision to revoke funding was disappointing, said Paula Gianino, president of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, where about 7,000 women receive breast exams each year.

Years ago, Planned Parenthood of St. Louis applied for and was denied a Komen grant to buy breast self-exam shower cards. Gianino said her group has been discouraged by the Komen organization from applying for grants ever since.

"We're deeply disappointed and really saddened by the fact that the Komen foundation has succumbed to this relentless, extreme pressure from anti-choice and anti-women's groups putting politics over the lives and health of women in this country," she said.

The rupture, which has not been publicly announced as it unfolded, is wrenching for some of those who've learned about it and admire both organizations.

"We're kind of reeling," said Patrick Hurd, who is CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia — recipient of a 2010 grant from Komen — and whose wife, Betsi, is a veteran of several Komen fundraising races and is currently battling breast cancer.

"It sounds almost trite, going through this with Betsi, but cancer doesn't care if you're pro-choice, anti-choice, progressive, conservative," Hurd said. "Victims of cancer (couldn't) care less about people's politics."

Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before, going to at least 19 of its affiliates for breast cancer screening and other breast health services. 

Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said the cutoff results from the charity's newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. According to Komen, this applies to Planned Parenthood because it's the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., seeking to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has depicted Stearns' probe as politically motivated and said she was dismayed that it had contributed to Komen's decision to halt the grants to PPFA affiliates.

"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," Richards told The Associated Press. "It's really hurtful."

Planned Parenthood has been a perennial target of protests, boycotts and funding cutoffs because of its role as the largest provider of abortions in the United States. Its nearly 800 health centers nationwide provide an array of other services, including birth control, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and cancer screening.

According to Planned Parenthood, its centers performed more than 4 million breast exams over the past five years, including nearly 170,000 as a result of Komen grants.

In a 2010 statement about its ties to Planned Parenthood, Komen's chief scientific adviser said that "while Komen affiliates provide funds to pay for screening, education and treatment programs in dozens of communities, in some areas, the only place that poor, uninsured or underinsured women can receive these services are through programs run by Planned Parenthood." 

Komen, founded in 1982, has invested more than $1.9 billion since then in breast-cancer research, health services and advocacy. Its Race for the Cure fundraising events have become a global phenomenon.

For all its mainstream popularity, however, Komen has been a target of anti-abortion groups since it began its partnerships with Planned Parenthood in 2005.

Life Decisions International includes Komen on its "boycott list" of companies and organizations that support or collaborate with Planned Parenthood. In December, Lifeway Christian Resources, the publishing division of the Southern Baptist Convention, announced a recall of pink Bibles it had sold because some of the money generated for Komen was being routed to Planned Parenthood.

In 2010, the Archdiocese of St. Louis discouraged its parishes from participating in the annual Komen 5K event that attracts more than 60,000 runners downtown each June.


UPDATE:  check out the comments to the STLToday story.  Pro-lifers had protested Komen because it gave money to PP.  Now many of these commenters say they will protest Komen because it does not.  Not because it gives money to pro-life groups, mind you, but just because it doesn't give money to PP.  Now, that's really proving that "Victims of cancer (couldn't) care less about people's politics."


Christopher M. said...

When I posted this on my blog yesterday I got TONS of hateful and angry responses from the Tolerant followers of the Pro-Murder crowd


Jay P said...

I still find myself conflicted with many of these charities aimed at ending a particular disease, as the approach is often one not mindful of the ethics of the methods. For instance, I have a hard time finding disease oriented charities that do not support use of embryonic stem cell research in order to find a cure. This often means that grants are provided for such research.

Case in point, this link demonstrates that Susan G. Komen provides monetary support for Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

My recollection is that the same applies for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund and other top disease charities.

I simply reroute all of my donations to the poor and to religious orders that are out there doing good. When we donate to a bad cause, the blood is on our hands!

Anonymous said...

The timing of this announcement is very interesting... The hue and cry over the HHS mandate attack on religious freedoms is about to reach epic proportions. A major proponent and benefactor of the mandate is Planned Parenthood. One would expect many donor funded organizations (like Komen) to want to distance themselves from Planned Parenthood, lest they be drawn into the fray which is going to follow soon. I suspect this is precisely what caused Komen to suddenly make this announcement now. This could get interesting. RC

Anonymous said...

Anon, that is a fascinating observation. I don't know if you are right, but that is an earth-shattering thought.



richard said...

It would be intolerable even if Planned Parenthood had a large and comprehensive program for breast cancer screening.

But even they have been forced to concede that they do not do mammograms.

It's obvious what the real agenda is here - especially for those outraged by this decision by the Komen Foundation.

timbro3000 said...

Jay P,

Apparently, they have stopped funding embryonic stem cell research as well:


Deo Gratias!

Methodist Jim said...

Just saw a link on Drudge Report . . . Komen has backed down and reinstated grants to Planned Parenthood. As my wife put it . . . "Wimps!"

Latinmassgirl said...

What gets me with Komen donating to PP is that abortion has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. So, are they really trying to stop breast cancer in the best way possible?

Anonymous said...

Victims of abortion couldn't care less about people's politics.


Those Who Are Most Disenfranchised