LifeNews.com

Komen to Stop Grants to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 1/31/12 5:50 PM

National

After years of protests and criticism from pro-life advocates, the biggest breast cancer organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has announced it is halting further grants and donations to the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Figures from August directly from the Komen for the Cure foundation show 18 affiliates of the breast cancer charity gave a total of more than $569,000 to the Planned Parenthood abortion business in 2010. That was down from the $731,303 Komen officials publicly confirmed in October 2010, when they acknowledged that 20 of the 122 Komen affiliates gave to Planned Parenthood during the 2009 fiscal year.

Now, Komen says it is halting all grants due to the impending investigation in Congress of the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Its new guidelines prevent it from funding any group under congressional investigation.

The policy makes it so no further Planned Parenthood grants will be given unless the investigation results in Planned Parenthood’s favor.

According to Fox News, 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.”

Aun said pro-life pressure was less of a factor than the Congressional investigation.

“We want to maintain a positive relationship with them,” she said of Planned Parenthood. “We’re not making any judgment.”

Planned Parenthood officials are upset by the decision and have already publicly responded, saying they will quickly try to raise the funds Komen had generated.

“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.”

Richard indicated Komen officials informed Planned Parenthood in December of the decision and that it came via a phone call from top Komen officials. Planned Parenthood responded by requesting a meeting with the Komen board, including CEO Nancy Brinker and board chairman Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr. Komen, according to Fox News, replied with a letter ignoring the request for a meeting and adding, “We understand the disappointment of any organization that is affected by these policy and strategy updates.”

“We’re kind of reeling,” said Patrick Hurd, who is CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia, told Fox News. “It sounds almost trite, going through this with Betsi, but cancer doesn’t care if you’re pro-choice, anti-choice, progressive, conservative. Victims of cancer could care less about people’s politics.”

Komen affiliates in Austin, Texas; Central New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; Greater Amarillo, Texas; Los Angeles County, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Salt Lake City, Utah stopped giving to the abortion business while affiliates in Dallas County, Texas; Denver, Colorado; North Carolina Triad; North Carolina Triangle; and Puget Sound, Washington all began new relationships with Planned Parenthood in 2011.

A Komen affiliate in Orange County, California is the last to have given a grant to the abortion business, doing so in December. The grant was approved prior to Komen announcing its changes.

“Stephanie Kight, a vice president with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, said her affiliate in Southern California received a Komen grant for 2011 and was able to obtain an additional grant of $120,000 for 2012 by signing the deal with its local Komen counterpart just before Komen’s new criteria took effect,” according to Fox.

The official Komen statement follows:

At Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the women we serve are our highest priority in everything we do. Last year, we invested $98 million in community health programs, which included 700,000 mammograms. Additionally, we began an initiative to further strengthen our grants program to be even more outcomes-driven and to allow for even greater investments in programs that directly serve women. We also implemented more stringent eligibility and performance criteria to support these strategies. While it is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a longstanding partner like Planned Parenthood, we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission.
It is critical to underscore that the women we serve in communities remain our priority. We are working directly with Komen Affiliates to ensure there is no interruption or gaps in services for women who need breast health screening and services.

ACTION: Contact Komen for the Cure to thank it for stopping grants to Planned Parenthood at http://ww5.komen.org/Contact.aspx