Much is being posted about the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s announcement that they will stop giving money to Planned Parenthood. In fact, both my Facebook and Twitter feeds have exploded in support for Planned Parenthood and range from shock, anger, and disgust towards the Komen Foundation.
I joined in the disbelief and outrage, and made my way to the Komen Foundation’s Facebook wall to share my thoughts. Big mistake.
While I saw a handful of folks expressing their anger and disappointment, I saw many more posts of congratulations and thanks from people happy that the Komen Foundation is pulling funding from Planned Parenthood.
What?! Are they really unaware of what this means?
So…now it’s time for a break down:
-According to Planned Parenthood, the Komen Foundation gave $680,000 in grants last year and $580,000 the year before.
-The money from the Komen Foundation went to nineteen Planned Parenthood programs that treat low-income women, many of whom are located in rural and underserved communities. The grants provided women with breast health education, screenings, and referrals for mammograms — lifesaving care for women where Planned Parenthood is their only source of health care.
-The “official” reasoning that the Komen Foundation has given for their actions is because Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation by Congress, which violates their (brand new) rule that bars them from contributing to organizations that are under investigation at the local, state, or federal level.
-However, the more probable reasons that they’ve pulled funding have to do with bowing to Anti-Choice pressure from wealthy conservatives.
-The Komen Foundation already has a shaky non-profit history, being accused of “pink-washing,” using raised funds in questionable ways, and have turned people off by seemingly losing their original focus on researching a cure.
It looks more and more like the Susan G. Komen Foundation has made a decision that better suits their organization and not their cause. They have made a choice that might curry them favor from conservatives and anti-choice folk in the short term, but I have a feeling that this will only serve in harming them as an organization in the long run. While they might feel like they’re making a stand in pulling much needed grant money from Planned Parenthood, in reality, they’re making it harder for low-income women in remote locations to access screenings and information for breast health care.
Their decision is cowardly, upsetting, and frankly appalling.
So what can you do?
If you’re just as angry as I am, there are a few ways to help.
-You can always make a donation to Planned Parenthood. No amount is too little. A wealthy donor in Texas has already offered to donate $250,000 in response to the Komen Foundation’s decision, but PP is still struggling to make up the rest.