Susan G. Komen's Tragic Break From Planned Parenthood

ColorLines blogger Akiba Solomon rebukes Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision to defund breast-cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood, calling it part of the GOP's continued attack on the poor.

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In a blog entry at ColorLines, Akiba Solomon delivers strong criticism of the Susan G. Komen breast-cancer charity's decision to discontinue funding for preventive breast-cancer screening exams at Planned Parenthood. She says it's part of the GOP’s continued assault on the poor.

Even if radical anti-choice politics didn’t motivate Susan G. Komen for the Cure to discontinue its breast cancer screening, referral and education grants to Planned Parenthood, the damage is done all the same. 

Before yesterday, the pink ribbon symbolized fundraising races, individual stories of breast cancer survival and not-very-attractive merchandise. Now, as far as I’m concerned, it’s synonymous with Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), the staunchly anti-choice legislator who last September launched a sweeping audit of Planned Parenthood’s spending and practices dating back to 1998.

Yesterday a Komen spokesperson told the Associated Press that the foundation, which has raised more than $1 billion for breast cancer research, education and prevention, had simply changed its funding policies to exclude any organization under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. But in a widely circulated statement, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards cried foul:

“Over the past five years, Komen funds have enabled Planned Parenthood health centers to provide nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and referrals for more than 6,400 mammograms. These cancer detection and prevention programs saved the lives of women who often had nowhere else to turn for care.

"But when anti-choice groups began criticizing the Komen Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood, the foundation ended its support for Planned Parenthood health centers. We know our opponents put their ideology over women’s health and lives. What we never expected is that an ally like the Komen Foundation would choose to listen to them."

Read Akiba Solomon's entire blog entry at ColorLines.

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