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YES! Komen Kicks Planned Parenthood to the Curb

We at Catholic Sistas are tickled pink that prominent breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure has decided to cut ties with Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider!

For years, faithful Catholics have boycotted Komen’s fundraising efforts for its unconscionable relationship with Planned Parenthood, which received $650,000 from Komen in 2011. And if Planned Parenthood’s complicity in the deaths of millions of unborn children were not bad enough, the link between it and Komen was especially galling given the copious research showing that abortion dramatically increases a woman’s chances of breast cancer.

For Catholic breast cancer survivors especially, Komen’s support of Planned Parenthood often left them feeling marginalized. “I’ve always felt cheated because I couldn’t morally participate in ‘pink’ events,” says Birgit, one of our contributors who is a seven-year breast cancer survivor. She hated having to inform well-meaning friends who wanted to honor her family by raising money for Komen that she couldn’t accept due to the charity’s relationship with an abortion provider. “Understandably, they felt chastised for doing a good deed,” she says.

Komen’s support of Planned Parenthood also was troubling for Erika, another of our contributors who is a three-year breast cancer survivor diagnosed at 20 weeks pregnant. She shared her story recently with our readers, including the pressure she resisted to abort her now two-year-old daughter. “Prolife Catholics have always loved women enough to support them and their unborn children during crisis pregnancies,” Erika says.

Though most pregnant women diagnosed with breast cancer are encouraged to abort, Erika found that research shows instead that women who elect to continue their pregnancies actually have a better survival rate than their counterparts who abort. Her experiences inspired Erika to develop Catholic Sistas’ own unique ribbon (see below) to support breast cancer awareness and research, which reflects the Catholic belief that both mother and child deserve to be protected from the disease.

Planned Parenthood has long tried to deflect criticism for receiving money from Komen by claiming their grants go to provide breast health services, including mammograms. That the abortion provider does not, in fact, provide mammograms at all was confirmed last year by Live Action, a prolife group based in San Jose, Calif. Live Action members contacted 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 states and discovered that not one provided mammograms and that few even provide basic breast cancer screening. (Interestingly enough, Planned Parenthood’s own Annual Reports have shown that breast exams have actually decreased at the organization since it began receiving money from Komen.)

For Catholics, the mood seems to be one of cautious optimism. Though Erika and Birgit are pleased Komen finally severed ties with the notorious abortion provider, Komen’s murky stances on other issues, such as embryonic stem cell research and oral contraceptives, remain problematic for Catholics. Erika is concerned that Komen may end up refunding Planned Parenthood in the future, since Komen claims it was “more stringent donor requirements” and not pressure from prolifers that caused it to stop funding the abortion provider. Komen’s new donor requirements do not allow the charity to fund any organization under investigation and Planned Parenthood is currently being investigated for using federal money to fund abortions. Komen could reissue grants to Planned Parenthood if nothing comes of the investigation.

Only time will tell whether this rift between Komen and Planned Parenthood is a permanent one. In the meantime, however, we applaud Susan G. Komen for the Cure for its decision to retain the hard-earned money of its supporters for organizations that truly do work to fight the scourge of breast cancer.

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About Misty

Misty converted to Catholicism from atheism 13 years ago, just a week after becoming a mother to her first child. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom, she worked full-time as a magazine writer and editor. She has been married to her best friend for nearly 20 years and looks forward to many more decades by his side. Her days are now spent cooking, doing laundry, freelance writing, and homeschooling her five children. After spending so much of her life in spiritual darkness, she revels in the joy of being Catholic. Without a doubt, the Lord’s greatest gift to her has been saving her from a life without Him.

  • Emily - Exciting news… let’s take what we can get and pray for more! 🙂
    Thanks for posting on this, Misty!February 1, 2012 – 9:56 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle - http://ww5.komen.org/uploadedFiles/Content/AboutUs/MediaCenter-2/Human%20Embryonic%20Stem%20Cell%20Research%20Statement%20for%20Web%2011.30.11.pdf

    Here is a recent statement from Komen regarding its stance on human embryonic stem-cell research. Komen states that they have not and will not fund H-ESCR.February 1, 2012 – 10:44 amReplyCancel

  • Theresa - Great article, Misty, especially the info about the mammograms and Planned Parenthood.
    Michelle, that link is WONDERFUL news! NOW I feel like celebrating! 🙂February 1, 2012 – 11:36 amReplyCancel

  • Martina - What I like about this departure is {concerns aside, of course} even *IF* they end up back in bed with PP, neither party can EVER deny the connection between the two, and that counts for a LOT in my book.

    The pink ribbon will forever be associated with PP if they take them back.February 1, 2012 – 11:45 amReplyCancel

  • Claire - Denver’s Komen To Continue Grants To Planned Parenthood

    Denver Affiliate Of Susan G. Komen For The Cure Gets Exemption Til March 2012

    Deb Stanley, 7NEWS Producer

    POSTED: 11:15 am MST February 1, 2012

    UPDATED: 11:42 am MST February 1, 2012

    DENVER — While the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation is halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country, the Denver affiliate of the group is not.
    Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said the national cutoff comes from the charity’s newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. According to Komen, this applies to Planned Parenthood because it’s the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., seeking to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions.
    Planned Parenthood says the move comes from Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists.

    Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before. The money helped pay for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services at Planned Parenthood.

    Denver Affiliate Granted Exemption

    On Wednesday, the Denver affiliate of Susan G. Koman for the Cure released a statement on Facebook that said it has been granted an exception.
    The Denver affiliate said it plans to fund Planned Parenthood for the grant cycle of April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013, pending the grant review committee and board of directors’ approval of their grant application.
    “The affiliate closely monitors all grantees to guarantee the awarded funds are used as intended and NOT used outside the scope of our promise to end breast cancer,” the statement on Facebook said. “The monitoring includes 6-month, 9-month and final reports; site visit; and quarterly coalition meetings.”
    In 2010, the Denver affiliate grant to Planned Parenthood provided breast health/cancer education to 2,264 women, 601 clinical breast examinations and referred and paid for 57 mammograms, officials said.
    Komen said 125 of those women were referred for additional diagnostics.
    Planned Parenthood has been a perennial target of protests, boycotts and funding cutoffs because of its role as the largest provider of abortions in the United States. Its nearly 800 health centers nationwide provide an array of other services, including birth control, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and cancer screening.
    According to Planned Parenthood, its centers performed more than 4 million breast exams over the past five years, including nearly 170,000 as a result of Komen grants.
    Komen, founded in 1982, has invested more than $1.9 billion in breast-cancer research, health services and advocacy. Its Race for the Cure fundraising events have become a global phenomenon.
    Komen began its partnerships with Planned Parenthood in 2005.

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  • WEDNESDAY PRO-LIFE EXTRA II | ThePulp.it - […] Yes! Komen Kicks Planned Parenthood to the Curb – Martina, Catholic Sistas […]February 1, 2012 – 7:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Don - Quit whining, Planned Parenthood, all you have to do is shut down your abortion clinics and you will have more than enough money to compensate for the loss of Komen donations.February 1, 2012 – 7:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Erika - Thanks Michelle for the link. I had a link to that or a similar one in our draft of this article.

    Thank God for this change of heart on SGK’s part! I just hope it continues! It is disheartening to already hear of a local affiliate funding their local PP. We all need to write a thank you to SGK to ensure they realize we support them now when we didn’t/couldn’t previously. We need to contact our local affiliates to keep them strong and following the national organization’s lead. Please, type a note on the SGK FB page, send them an email, or send them a Thank You card detailing exactly why you’re pleased. Perhaps that is how we can keep the pro-life momentum!February 1, 2012 – 10:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Rose Kehoe - I am happy to hear it but cautious about what it really means after reading their statement. They didn’t claim to be doing it for any moral reason, simply that they won’t fund them while they are under Congressional investigation.
    Now I read that some PP groups are still getting funding.

    I thanked them for the move but told them I hope they would see the light and maintain that stand.February 3, 2012 – 8:03 amReplyCancel

  • Howard - They have “apologized” and reversed their decision. I wasn’t surprised.February 3, 2012 – 11:02 amReplyCancel

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