Susan G. Komen Defunds PP

                Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how insidious the anti-choice movement can be. With loud, boisterous opposition like Randall Terry and Operation Rescue; not to mention the very distinct attacks on abortion rights going on at the state level recently it can sometimes seem like everything they do is intentionally portrayed to “save the unborn babies.” Sometimes though, they are sneaky.

                Last fall we wrote about a Congressional investigation into Planned Parenthoods financial records to determine if they are using federal funds to pay for abortions, something that is expressly forbidden by the Hyde Amendment. Planned Parenthood maintains they have not used the funds for abortions and that any funding for abortions comes from private or state level donations (in states where this is legal.)

                Planned Parenthood provides a number of services aside from abortions including STD testing, access to birth control, pap smears and breast exams. Money from the federal government goes towards these services. They also receive money from private sources for these services as well. 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates were recipients of grants from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to help them provide breast exams for low-income, uninsured and under-insured patients in the communities they serve.

                They have been receiving these grants for years and the Susan G. Komen foudation has defended them saying they provide life saving services by giving breast exams. Sadly, less than a year ago, the foundation hired Karen Handel is a vocally anti-choice activist who ran for Governor of Georgia on an anti-choice platform. Since hiring her, the foundation has changed their polices for grant giving forbidding giving grants to any group that is under investigation by any local, state, or federal government agency.

                This new policy means that the Susan G. Komen foundation will no longer be giving grants to the 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates. They claim it is not a political move and is not meant to reflect any anti-choice sentiments, but this seems insincere given that the change to policy came only after they hired an anti-choice activist and after a Congressional investigation began.

                Some local chapters of the foundation are not happy with the national headquarters decision; and at least one, SGK of Connecticut has posted a public statement against the decision.  Planned Parenthood has also issued a statement expressing their disappointment in losing the grants and to announce that in spite of the lost funding they intend to ensure that no one in the communities served by these affiliates loses access to health care. They have created the Breast Health Emergency Fund to provide emergency funding to these affiliates and make sure that there is no interruption to their funding to the services they are able to provide.

                If you want to support full access to women’s health care, check out this article at GOOD.com, they give some awesome ways to help support broader access.

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