Does the Susan G. Komen Foundation truly care about preventing breast cancer, or is there a political agenda that influences its decisions? The former seems to be true after the foundation’s president resigned in response to public outcry against the decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
Recently, the foundation decided to completely cut ties with Planned Parenthood, due to fear that investigation of the organization by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla) would result in less trust from donors. Last year alone, Komen donated about $700,000 to Planned Parenthood.
This is not a surprising donation amount, considering how much the organization has. The Komen Foundation currently possesses $93 million in grants, according to New York Times journalists Jennifer Preston and Gardiner Harris.
Although Nancy Brinker, founder of the Komen Foundation, said the decision was not in response to political or ethical beliefs, the claim this disconnect would result in better grant-making procedures seemed tenuous.
Several organizations and individuals, including Americans United for Life and leaders of the GOP, have spoken out against Planned Parenthood, an organization offering a number of services for women’s health.
Among these services are family planning and abortion, one of the most heavily debated women’s rights throughout the country. However, 97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are unrelated to abortion and include things like breast cancer screenings.
The question remained if whether or not the Komen Foundation should have concerned itself with political outcry from a few and completely cut off an organization due to its involvement with abortion. Planned Parenthood provides one in five women in the United States with care, according to the organization’s president, Cecile Richards.
Hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood’s services for breast screening. As the self-proclaimed goal of the Komen Foundation “… is to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment,” it is strange that Planned Parenthood would not have the utmost support from Brinker. Succumbing to pressure from those with a religious or political agenda was not an intelligent move on Brinker’s part. Although the concern for decreased donations is important, the amount of people that felt insulted and excluded due to the move to cut ties with Planned Parenthood is substantial, according to Richards.
The main goal of any organization is stated within the mission statement. The foundation’s previous decision to disconnect with one of the largest women’s health service organizations in the country directly contradicted its mission.
Rather than concerning itself with repudiation due to a small chance donations from religious groups and individuals will be decreased, the Komen Foundation finally chose to bravely resist pressure to stop funding an organization with a similar mission.
New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pledged one quarter of a million dollars to Planned Parenthood in response to potential decreased funding in the future. Bloomberg firmly noted the difference between health care and politics.
In order to decrease the number of those suffering from breast cancer, the illness must be prevented with screenings. If the Komen Foundation truly hopes to eradicate breast cancer, continued support of Planned Parenthood is necessary.
This was made more apparent when the Komen Foundation’s president resigned and the decision to reverse the grant-making policy was finalized. Supporters of Planned Parenthood and women’s health services ensured the wrong decision would not be made.