Komen Affiliate Leaders Quit, Complain About Funding Decision

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 2, 2012   |   6:02PM   |   Washington, DC

Several Komen affiliates leaders have either quit in protest or publicly complained about the decision the Komen for the Cure breast cancer group made to revoke funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

One of Komen’s top officials quit in December when the nation’s biggest breast cancer charity made the decision to cut more than $600,000 in funding to the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Now, Dr. Kathy Plesser, a Manhattan radiologist on the advisory board of Komen’s New York chapter, says she plans to resign and mentioned mammograms — even though Planned Parenthood doesn’t actually do them.

“I’m a physician and my interest is women’s health, and I am disturbed by Komen’s decision because I am a very strong advocate for serving under-served women,” Plesser told The Huffington Post. “Eliminating this funding will mean there’s no place for these women to go. Where are these women to go to have a mammography? Do they not deserve to have mammography?”

Also, the executive director of Komen’s Los Angeles County chapter, Deb Anthony has also resigned in protest over the “decisions made [by Komen National] in the past year.”

“I felt blessed to support the cause of breast cancer and will always be grateful to all the fabulous women I met,” she wrote in an e-mail. “There are several decisions that Komen has made in the past year that have led me to decide that my skills and talents no longer fit their model. I wish them the best. I have offered to assist the local organization for a few hours a week to support the staff and their efforts on the annual race for the cure.”

Meanwhile, the Arkansas affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure issued a statement complaining about the decision.

“The Arkansas Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is about breast health. After Susan G. Komen National decided, without input from affiliates, to stop grant funding for any organization that is under governmental investigation, including Planned Parenthood, we feel caught in a political storm about something else entirely,” it said. “As we understand this, there is an investigation of Planned Parenthood by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for the House Energy and Commerce Committee of the United States Congress. We hope Komen national will reverse its position on granting to organizations under investigation because we feel decisions of this nature should be made only after the investigation is complete.” [related]

The affiliate said it has never funded Planned Parenthood.

The Denver chapter, one of five that has Planned Parenthood grants pending from before the decision, also complained and said on its Facebook page that it requested an exception from the national ban.

“The Denver affiliate said it wants to fund Planned Parenthood for the grant cycle of April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013, pending the grant review committee and board of directors’ approval of their grant application,” according to ABC-Denver.

Senior vice president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Leslie Durgin said, “In Denver, we got 4.3 percent of (our) funding from Komen.”

Despite the protests, Founder Nancy Brinker told MSNBC on Thursday:  “All I can tell you is that the responses we’re getting are very, very favorable. People who have bothered to read the material, who have bothered to understand the issues– again, we work for a mission every day of our lives.”

Brinker also said new VP Karen Handel was not responsible for the decision.

“Karen did not have anything to do with this,” said Brinker. “And let me just take a step back for a minute. We are not defunding Planned Parenthood. We have three grants that will go on this year, and they will probably be eligible for the next grant cycle.”

Related stories:

Komen to Stop Grants to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz
Komen Decision to Yank Planned Parenthood Funds Not Temporary
Komen Also Stops Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research Centers
Komen Still Doesn’t Acknowledge Abortion-Breast Cancer Link
Planned Parenthood: Komen Stopped $ Because Pro-Lifers Hate Women
New Komen Pro-Life VP Credited for Planned Parenthood Cuts
Top Komen Official Quit Over Planned Parenthood Funding Cut
Komen for the Cure Web Site Hacked by Pro-Abortion Activists