Komen for the Witch Hunt?

This news is in the order of magnitudes more important than Romney's win in Florida yesterday. Planned Parenthood conducts breast cancer screenings for 750,000 women each year, and their ability to continue do so has just be cast into doubt by the cancellation of grants to different PP affiliates by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation - a leading funder of breast cancer research. Why did Komen cancel this grant? Not because Planned Parenthood has become any less vital for saving women's lives through cancer screening, a crucial part of Komen's own mission. They stopped the grant because of a witch hunt against Planned Parenthood by Republicans in Congress, in particular the radical Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida.

The GOP has an ideological agenda to shut down Planned Parenthood simply because they provide abortion services to women (although it is only 3 percent of the services they provide - which is a factual statement). Komen grants have accounted for over half a million dollars that Planned Parenthood uses to provide breast health services.

Komen claims to have a "new policy" that stops grants to any organization that is under any sort of an investigation by the federal state or local authorities.
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.
So basically, Komen's policy is to succumb to every witch-hunt out there motivated by political purposes. Nice. Komen goes around the country, sponsoring races and raising a ton of money from women and women's advocates. If they are going to use that leverage to hurt instead of help women and the nation's top women's health care provider, then maybe the rest of us need to start becoming smart about where we put our money.

It's time to get serious. Using a "change of policy" excuse to deprive much needed breast cancer screening funds to the country's number one women's health care provider is despicable. Komen needs to decide whether its desire to stay "above" the political fray - that women's reproductive health is a political football is itself shameful, but I digress - is more important than saving women's lives. It needs to decide whether a sham witch hunt by politically motivated members of Congress is worth endangering breast cancer screening services for women. If they believe the appearance of political neutrality is worth hurting the very cause that forms the basis for the Foundation, they need to tell us why.

We all need to get on their case. Here's the contact information for Komen:
  • Call 1-877 GO KOMEN(1-877-465-6636)
  • Use their online Contact Form to register a protest.
  • Write to their HQ at:
    5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250Dallas, TX 75244
Tell them that they must reverse their decision and restore all funding to Planned Parenthood. If you have ever given Komen money or participated in one of their races, don't forget to mention that.

Remember what is at stake here. Among Planned Parenthood's services, there are 750,000 women who get breast cancer screening every year. Why is the nation's leading breast cancer organization so willing to throw these 750,000 women under the bus in order to claim some fictional political high chair?