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February 7, 2012 Print

Susan G Komen Finds Out the Hard Way

by Carrie Gordon Earll


That’s how some might describe the quick reversal of the nation’s largest breast-cancer charity in severing its ties to the nation’s largest abortion seller

News stories announced Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s decision to cease funding Planned Parenthood last week, a decision Komen made and announced to Planned Parenthood in December.                   

Late last year, Komen’s board adopted a new rule that disqualifies funding applicants who are the part of a government investigation.  As it would happen, the only applicant this applies to is Planned Parenthood, which is the subject of a congressional inquiry by U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla) who wants to know if the group is misusing federal tax dollars to fund abortion and other possible illegal activity. 

Komen officials also cited their desire to directly fund centers that provide mammograms for women, not pass-through agencies like Planned Parenthood.  Planned Parenthood received $680,000 Komen dollars last year.  It offers breast exams but refers elsewhere for mammograms.

It’s worth noting that Komen didn’t announce the decision to back away from Planned Parenthood: It just happened to turn up in the press.  A Komen board member says the plan was to keep it quiet and avoid controversey.  So someone leaked the story to the media. 

And Komen was apparently unprepared for what happened next.

A media frenzy fueled in part by political hardball from Washington and more than 1 million Twitter posts rocked the ground-breaking breast-cancer charity.  As a result,  Komen did an about-face, apologizing for its new policy and letting the world know Planned Parenthood is once again eligible for future funding.

Meanwhile, it’s a PR and financial victory for Planned Parenthood.  The $1 billion-plus non-profit says it  raised more than $3 million in donations in the four days before the apology was issued. 

The Komen charity does good work, and it’s long been a struggle for pro-lifers to know whether to fully support it due to its ties to Planned Parenthood.  For a couple of days we could breathe a sigh of relief that Komen was doing the right thing.  In fact, Komen reports that its donations were up 100 percent in the days following the announcement of its break with Planned Parenthood.

The Komen/Planned Parenthood controversy is the latest example of how difficult it has become for organizations to take a principled stand.  Looking in the rear view mirror, Komen would do well to remember who it is partnering with – a group (and its allies) that will stop at nothing to keep funding and cultural esteem for abortion.