Earlier this week, the Susan B. Komen for the Cure Foundation announced they would not continue grants to Planned Parenthood that had been used to provide breast cancer screenings and mammograms to thousands of low-income and uninsured women.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Komen claims their defunding decision was due to the foundation's recently enacted policy to not fund organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. That would disqualify Planned Parenthood, which is the subject of a congressional inquiry begun in September by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) to determine whether it has used federal money to fund abortions, which is forbidden by law.
This investigation is politically motivated and bogus. It is unconscionable that Komen would succumb to political pressure from abortion opponents. Their decision will undoubtedly jeopardize the lives and health of low-income women who often have nowhere else to turn for this care.
There is also speculation that this decision is related to the foundation recently filling a key vice president position with Karen Handel who has been outspoken about her anti-choice beliefs. Following the extensive media coverage and public outcry over this decision, Handel reportedly retweeted that it is "typical of an abortion group to turn a fundraising decision into a political bomb." The tweet has since been deleted.
A single individual's personal, political beliefs should not get in the way of providing necessary health care to women, which is central to Komen’s mission of saving lives and ending breast cancer for women. Whatever their reason, Komen’s decision to end a relationship that has saved thousands of women's lives is deeply disturbing.