The Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the largest breast-cancer charity in the United States, announced that it will end its partnership with Planned Parenthood affiliates. This will prevent Planned Parenthood affiliates from receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars to conduct breast cancer screenings annually. According to Planned Parenthood, its clinics received $680,000 last year alone from the Komen foundation.
Representatives from the Komen foundation indicated that they ended the partnership with Planned Parenthood because the Komen foundation recently adopted a policy, which states that grants may not be given to organizations that are under investigation by local, state, or federal officials. Leslie Aun, a spokesperson for the Komen foundation, indicated that because Planned Parenthood’s spending on abortion services is the subject of an investigation initiated by Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL), the Komen foundation has elected to end its partnership.
Officials from Planned Parenthood have indicated that they believe that the Komen foundation was motivated by pressure from anti-abortion forces. Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, stated, “It’s hard to understand how an organization with whom we share a mission of saving women’s lives could have bowed to this kind of bullying. It’s really hurtful. Until really recently, the Komen foundation had been praising our breast health programs as essential. This really abrupt about-face was very surprising. I think the Komen foundation has been bullied by right-wing groups.”
Planned Parenthood health centers across the country conduct over one million cervical cancer screenings and 830,000 breast exams yearly. Its clinics also provide contraception to approximately 2.5 million women per year.
National Partnership for Women and Families 2/1/12; Associated Press 1/31/12