Friday, February 3, 2012

Pushback Succeeds: Komen Restores Funding for Planned Parenthood Screening Program

In a startling reversal, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, under immense pressure over their controversial decision to defund a Planned Parenthood breast cancer screening program, reversed course and restored the funding to Planned Parenthood. USA Today reports:
Critics had charged that Komen had decided to terminate its funding of Planned Parenthood under pressure from anti-abortion activists — a charge Komen founder Nancy Brinker denied.
Push-back came swiftly from within its own organization and outside supporters. Komen affiliates in California and Oregon opposed the decision, and in Colorado, an Aspen-based Komen affiliate said it would continue providing grants to its local Planned Parenthood site.
Others said they would boycott Komen's ubiquitous local Race for the Cure running events, which have raised millions of dollars over the years. Nowhere was the outcry more intense than on the Internet, where the decision was blasted on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.
Sources in media reports continue to indicate the decision to defund Planned Parenthood was a political one, spurred by anti-choice actors within Komen:
A source with direct knowledge of decision-making at Komen's headquarters told the Associated Press that the grant-making criteria were adopted with the deliberate intention of targeting Planned Parenthood. The criteria's impact on Planned Parenthood and its status as the focus of government investigations were highlighted in a memo distributed to Komen affiliates in December.
According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions, a driving force behind the move was Karen Handel, who was hired by Komen last year as vice president for public policy after losing a campaign for governor in Georgia in which she stressed her anti-abortion views and frequently denounced Planned Parenthood.