No sooner did the news hit the airwaves then a furor erupted over the decision. The Susan B. Komen Foundation, the nation's largest and most well-known breast-cancer charity, is halting its partnership with Planned Parenthood affiliates.
According to Planned Parenthood, its centers performed more than 4 million breast exams in the past five years, almost 170,000 of them paid for by Komen Foundation grants. But those grants will no longer fund the Planned Parenthood coffers. Officially, the Komen Foundation has a policy change that prevents the organization from funding organizations that are currently under investigation.
The new policy affects Planned Parenthood because it is currently the focus of an investigation launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida to determine if public money was improperly spent on abortions.
From the Komen Foundation statement:
"While it is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a long-standing partner like Planned Parenthood, we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission."
But just minutes after the story went live, Twitter and Facebook went wild with comments, most of which were highly critical of the Komen Foundation's decision. Many commentors see the decision as evidence that The Komen Foundation has caved to political pressure from pro-life activists to permanently cut ties with Planned Parenthood.
"Komen's decision hurts women — it puts politics before women's health. @komenforthecure should be ashamed."
The International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF_WHR
) also commented:
"Does cancer care if you're pro-choice? Susan G. Komen for the Cure denies support for poor women to access health care."
"Susan Komen would not give in to bullies or to fear. Too bad the foundation bearing her name did. Support @PPact. Save lives."
Today on Facebook, I've seen the icon to the left passed around no less than 20 times. And that's just in the last few hours.
It's too soon to tell if this uproar will be sustained or if it will result in diminished donations and support for The Komen Foundation. (Those same 20 folks who posted the pic to the left also commented that they will no longer participate in Race For The Cure events.)
What are your thoughts on the Komen Foundation's decision?