Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure Foundation, breast cancer group, are among top organizations when it comes to women’s healthcare services. It’s a shame those former allies are embroiled in a nasty PR fight. Politics is at the heart of the matter.
Dallas-based SGKF on Tuesday cut $680,000 in funding for breast-cancer screening at PPFA due to a new policy that apparently forbids giving money to any group that is under Congressional scrutiny. The new rule follows the April appointment of Karen Handel as senior VP-public policy. She campaigned as Republican candidate for Georgia in 2010, and blogged, “Since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood,” according to today’s New York Times.
PPFA, which used the Komen cash over the past five years to provide 170K breast cancer exams and more than 6,400 mammogram referrals to low-income women, is a favorite Congressional target among pro-life groups.
Florida Congressman Cliff Stearns is the latest to probe New York-headquartered PPFA. In September, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigative subcommittee, opened hearings on whether PPFA used federal money to pay for abortions. PPFA says not a cent of the $360M that it receives from the U.S. Government goes for abortions.
As evidenced by his quote to the Feb. 1 Ocala Star-Banner, Stearns’ goal is to defund PPFA. He told the paper: “Although Planned Parenthood provides health services, it remains the nation’s largest abortion provider. I understand this new policy by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, but my main concern is why the American taxpayers are providing over $1M a day to Planned Parenthood when we have trillion dollar deficits and a national debt exceeding $15 trillion.”
On its website, SGKF says it’s extremely disappointed that its actions to “strengthen our granting process have been widely mischaracterized." There’s a video from founder, CEO and George W. Bush’s Ambassador to Hungary Nancy Brinker “setting the record straight” about the new granting strategies. That video has been met with scorn, receiving 2,029 “dislikes” and 483 “likes” from viewers.
PPFA, which is “alarmed and saddened” about Komen’s cut, said today that it received $400,000 in online donations within hours of being dropped by Komen. It also got backing from 22 Democratic Senators who wrote a letter to Komen urging it to reconsider this “troubling decision threatens to reduce access to necessary, life-saving services.”
Though PPFA is winning the overall PR fight, the focus must remain on its overall mission. One in five American women go to it at some point in her life for cancer screenings, STD prevention/treatment, breast health service, pap tests, sexual health information and birth control.
Three percent of its budget is spent for abortion services.