Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Susan G. Komen Foundation Marches Into Rightwing Camp

The Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation has cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Komen previously provided grants to fund breast cancer screenings by Planned Parenthood medical professionals.

Recently, however, Komen hired an anti-choice Vice President, Karen Handel, who was recently an unsuccessful candidate in the Georgia gubernatorial election. Handel actively campaigned on an anti-choice and anti-Planned Parenthood platform. She also received an endorsement from Sarah Palin.

Komen defends its decision by citing to a "new" rule it adopted that denies funding to groups under Congressional "investigation." Last year, House Republicans launched a partisan investigation to determine whether Congress should continue funding Planned Parenthood's non-abortion family planning and health services. That investigation, however, has not proceeded, due to opposition by Democrats. Because of this context, Komen's new rule seems plainly designed to target and justify the defunding of Planned Parenthood.  Furthermore, because liberals tend to support women's health issues and abortion rights, this decision could prove harmful to Komen.

Planned Parenthood has released a statement that criticizes Komen.  Planned Parenthood has also started a campaign to raise funds in order to continue providing breast cancer screenings for its indigent patients. Komen's decision is not based on good healthcare practices. Instead, it rests on partisan political ideology. Shame.

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