Yesterday, America’s most well-known breast cancer organization Susan G. Komen succumbed to right-wing pressure and ended its partnership with Planned Parenthood, pulling around $600,000 in grants that allow the women’s health organization to provide breast cancer exams for low-income women. Today on the House floor, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) — a “big booster” for the foundation and a participant in its iconic Race for the Cure event — announced that she would no longer support the organization over it’s decision.
Noting that the foundation based their decision to sever ties on anti-choice advocate Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) “spurious congressional investigation” into Planned Parenthood, Speier blasted Komen for falling into the trap of a “political sandbox.” “A hearing has never been held,” she noted. “I guess it means that Susan G. Komen has become a 501(d)(4), because no longer do they want to be providing nonprofits, they want to become a political advocacy group,” she said.
Speier also pointed out the particular irony of another nearly simultaneous statement from the Komen foundation noting that the rate of breast cancer screening for women without insurance is around 38 percent. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood provided700,000 screenings for low-income and uninsured women last year alone. By bowing to right-wing fear-mongering, Komen is helping to cripple one of its own key efforts.
Komen issued an updated statement on their decision, “Grant making decisions are not about politics—our priority is and always will be the women we serve. Making this issue political or leveraging it for fundraising purposes would be a disservice to women.” Maybe the organization should take its own advice.