Type to search

Komen Caves To The Far Right — And Poor Women Pay

Memo Pad

Komen Caves To The Far Right — And Poor Women Pay


The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has severed its ties with Planned Parenthood.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars — nearly $700,000 last year alone — no longer will fund breast cancer screenings and other breast-related services for low-income and uninsured women at 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country.

Poof! Gone.

Komen made the decision in December, but the news didn’t get out until this week. Before Komen went into lockdown mode, a spokeswoman told The Associated Press that this decision had nothing to do with the relentless pressure from anti-abortion groups that want to drive Planned Parenthood into extinction.

So why did an extremist anti-abortion group brag online about the funding cuts two weeks before Komen told Planned Parenthood?

On Dec. 2, 2011, Doug Scott, president of Life Decisions International, announced on its Facebook page that Komen was off its boycott list because it no longer was funding Planned Parenthood.

“Please keep in mind that if the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation deserved to be included in The Boycott List, it would still be there,” he wrote. “There is reason to celebrate. Just do not do it too loudly.”

That post has since evaporated.

Poof! Gone.

When I asked Scott how he had found out about the cuts, he hesitated and then started to laugh. “I probably shouldn’t comment on that, actually. It’s probably best if I say nothing.”

When I asked whether he’d heard it from the Susan G. Komen foundation, he laughed again.

“Might be true we heard it from Susan G. Komen. Might not be true. Maybe I heard it from an organization affiliated with Komen. Or maybe I heard it from an organization affiliated with an organization affiliated with Komen.” More laughter. “How’s that for confusing?”

On Dec. 16, Komen President Elizabeth Thompson finally told Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards that their relationship was over. Rules are rules, she said, and Komen’s had changed to prohibit funding for organizations under government investigation.

This is how easy it is to trigger that new rule: Last September, a single member of Congress — in this instance, anti-choice Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns — called for an audit of Planned Parenthood, which has long been a target of conservatives. Komen threw up its collective hands and claimed it had no choice but to abandon thousands of women who depend on Planned Parenthood affiliates for breast cancer screenings.

Connie Schultz

Connie Schultz is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicated. Schultz won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary and was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. She has also published two books: Life Happens: And Other Unavoidable Truths -- a collection of her previously published columns -- and ...and His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man, which chronicled her experiences on the campaign trail with her husband, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

  • 1


  1. mjcarudel February 2, 2012

    I’m so disheartened to hear that they made this decision. I have long been a supporter of both organizations. Unfortunately, I will now only support Planned Parenthood. It’s a shame that this worthwhile organization decided to be swayed by the anti-abortion zealots in this country. Planned Parenthood is so much more than abortions, it’s a venue for women’s health services. I’m 60 years old, but used Planned Parenthood in my college days for pap smears and regular exams. I could not afford to go to a regular doctor’s office.

  2. fordneri February 2, 2012

    Komen keeps the $700,000.00 government money and loses the millions in charitable contributions to organizations who address the needs of the whole woman. I personally have no problem giving more to worthier organizations that demonstrate views more in line with my own. I would feel conflicted giving to Komen now.

  3. efreml February 2, 2012

    How unfortunate a decision. The worst part is Komen has given the extreme Right a new weapon: get a right wing-nut Congessman to start an investigation on an organization targeted by the extremists,, regardless of merit, and Komen will suspend funding. Doesn’t the value of the target organization’s work count at all? How about the relationship of years? Is Komen the only group in America that trusts the Congress? That’s the last pink ribbon I wear, ever.

  4. jamesmlynch February 2, 2012

    How sad. My question is, “Will funding be restored when Planned Parenthood passes the audit? Or has the radical right arranged for issues to be raised in the audit process as well? I have many friends who have supported SGK for years; I grieve for them as they deal with the fallout of this decision!

  5. tea party suxs February 2, 2012

    One has to grow very suspicious about a charity that seems to find a way to put its own logo on very item , event and product. I was always sympathetic to Susan G Komen.I would donate and I even would be influenced to purchase certain products. Now that I hear that they cut Plan Parent Hood, I think that is a low blow to women.I would never had expected them to make such an evil move. I thought they were supporters for women’s health. Now the move to cut PPH is more like a right winged agenda. I am for sure going to boycott and even go as far as asking for my donations back ! S.Komen just killed the true meaning of the Pink Ribbon. Such Shame !

  6. Beaver23 February 2, 2012

    What has this country come to? Political power now runs (or should I say ruins) our country. It’s a horrible time to be poor but a great time to be wealthy. Sad Sad Sad…

  7. Dagrun Bennett February 2, 2012

    I am so disappointed! From now on I will no longer support Susan Komen, Planned Parenthood will get it all.

  8. Bruce_S78 February 2, 2012

    I sure hope the Foundation enjoys the loss of support that will occur as a result of this dumb decision. When you hire right wing politicians, you get this crap. When my wife and I were poor college students, Planned Parenthood was the only group that helped with pap smears and regular exams. Now that we have a good income, you can be sure there won’t be anymore going to the Komen Foundation!!

  9. Sleipnir February 2, 2012

    I have.always admired and supported the Susan G. Komen foundation but after this decision I will no longer support it and now will support Planned Parenthood only. This is another attack by zealots in the Republican party against women. We need to stand up and protest these attacks before we become second class citizens again. SGK, wake up before your great organization is no more.

  10. freethinker February 2, 2012

    It is not the right or the far right, it is the right to life people that disagree with their tax money going to Planned Parenthood which directly or indirectly utilizes the money to provide abortions. Planned Parenthood has several of other choices: 1) stop doing abortions, 2) stop taking government money, 3) create a totally separate organization that does nothing but abortions and has no association with PP. Getting mad and pouting never solves anything.

  11. Karen Ray February 3, 2012

    It would appear that Susie G is sleeping with the enemy.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.