Patch Blog: Abandoning Planned Parenthood

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation pulls future funding to the Planned Parenthood Breast Health Fund.

On January 31, 2012, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation announced that it will no longer make grants to the Planned Parenthood Breast Health Fund. 

During the last five years, SGK provided grants to the Fund which enabled Planned Parenthood health centers to provide nearly 170,000 breast exams to low income and uninsured women and men.  SGK announced that the reason for terminating its contributions to the Fund is because of SGK’s newly adopted policy barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. 

SGK states that this policy applies to Planned Parenthood because United States Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) launched an inquiry last year seeking to determine whether public funds had been improperly spent on abortions.

However, this SGK policy is merely a ruse. The real impetus for the future withholding of grants to the Fund is because of the mission of SGK’s new Senior Vice President, Karen Handel.  Ms. Handel ran for governor of Georgia in 2010 on an aggressively anti-choice and anti-Planned Parenthood platform and was endorsed by Sarah Palin because of Ms. Handel’s opposition to reproductive choice.

During her campaign for governor, Ms. Handel stated:  "During my time as Chairman of Fulton County, there were federal and state pass-through grants that were awarded to Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as a ‘Healthy Babies Initiative.’ ” “Since grants like these are from the state I'll eliminate them as your next Governor.”

Luckily, Ms. Handel lost her bid during the gubernatorial primary to be Georgia’s next governor which means that Georgians will continue to be able to receive necessary health care. 

Unluckily, she joined SGK and embarked on her mission to deny SGK funding to the Breast Health Fund.  So even though not a penny of any SGK grants went to fund contraception or the termination of any pregnancy at any Planned Parenthood facility, Ms. Handel and SGK have no compunction against cutting off funding even though all the funds provided by the grants were actually used to provide breast cancer screenings which resulted in saving lives of both women and men.

So the real issue is reproductive freedom. Certainly as an organization SGK may adopt and abide by any tenet it wishes to, including being an organization that opposes reproductive freedom. 

But it needs to be honest about it.  The reason that SGK has been dishonest about it is because donors like me and the millions of other women and men who support reproductive freedom will no longer financially support SGK and it does not want to lose even a single donation.  SGK wants to have it both ways and that is just not going to happen.

Predictably, supporters of reproductive freedom have decried SGK’s decision and those opposed to reproductive freedom have lauded it.  New York’s Mayor Bloomberg announced that the Bloomberg Family Trust would match donations to the Planned Parenthood Breast Health Fund dollar for dollar up to a total of $250,000. 

That pleases me since that means that my donation to the Fund today will be doubled.  I also made a donation to Planned Parenthood of Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley, Inc. so that women and men in my own backyard who seek it will be able to secure the health services they require.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Danielle Corona February 03, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Lorraine, Komen has not reversed itself. Their statement today reaffirms that some PP centers will continue receiving money, which is what they have said all week. As for preserving eligibility in the future, that is not a guarantee of getting the grants
Danielle Corona February 03, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Oh, and I still would like to find a PP in the area that does mammograms, cause I could use one.
Lorraine grindstaff February 03, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Danielle, both the El Monte and Pasadena PPs do breast exams and provide mammogram referrals. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/findCenter.asp?z=91016&s=&go.x=9&go.y=8
Danielle Corona February 04, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Referral? I could do both of those on my own.
Bob Dollins February 07, 2012 at 05:06 PM
"Reproductive Freedom", now there's a clever euphemism. Lorraine, why don't you just call it what it is. Here's an interesting stat I saw. Last year PP did over 300,000 abortions and only about 1,000 adoptions. Wouldn't it be nice if those numbers were reversed.
Lorraine grindstaff February 07, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Mr. Dollins, reproductive freedom is not a euphemism for abortion. Reproductive freedom includes the right to self determination in deciding if, when and with whom to have children so it includes contraception, a right that many would deny to women and men. Reproductive freedom also includes the right to receive health care for the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, some of which can lead to sterility and even death if left untreated. And reproductive freedom includes the right to same-sex relationships. Reproductive freedom means the right of women and men to decide for themselves their own sexual self-determination and is much broader than the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy. Sexual self-determination and reproductive freedom are one and the same thing, but there are many in government and religion who are opposed to women and men having the right to control their own bodies or to engage in sexual relations with anyone other than a person of the opposite sex to whom they are married. So reproductive freedom means much, much more than a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy.


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