The charity announced yesterday
that it will no longer provide the thousands of dollars each year it had been sending to Planned Parenthood to allow women who otherwise could not afford them to receive breast exams.
Komen said it could not continue to fund Planned Parenthood because it has adopted new guidelines that bar it from funding organizations under congressional investigation. The House oversight and investigations subcommittee announced in the fall an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s funding.
Komen, known for its pink ribbon campaign and their annual "Race for the Cure", had been under pressure to stop funding Planned Parenthood for quite some time. They have also hired a vice president who advocated defunding Planned Parenthood in her attempt to run for governor of Georgia.
While anti-choice advocates cheer the decision, they betray an ignorance of what Planned Parenthood actually does.
Planned Parenthood said it performed about 330,000 abortions last year, 3 percent of its total health care services. The organization also said its doctors and nurses annually conduct 1 million screenings for cervical cancer, 830,000 breast exams and some 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases.
In a press release
, Planned Parenthood said it was "deeply saddened" by Komen's actions.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America today expressed deep disappointment in response to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s decision to stop funding breast cancer prevention, screenings and education at Planned Parenthood health centers. Anti-choice groups in America have repeatedly threatened the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood to provide these lifesaving cancer screenings and news articles suggest that the Komen Foundation ultimately succumbed to these pressures.
The right wing anti-choice forces in American, not really known for being "pro-life" once that "life" leaves the uterus, will have the blood of these women on their hands. This will not stop Planned Parenthood from continuing to provide reproductive services to indigent women. Nor will it stop them from providing breast cancer screenings. It will just make it that much more difficult, in a nation where the right wing seems intent on "helping" middle class and lower income health care consumers into early graves.