How One Man's Witch Hunt Made Komen Decide to Cut Off Grants to Planned Parenthood

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CliffStearns.jpg
Florida congressman Cliff Stearns
Perhaps you've heard by now: The Dallas-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation (don't bother clicking the link; the site's not loading) will no longer be giving grant money to Planned Parenthood, a move Planned Parenthood of North Texas says comes after "anti-women's health groups have repeatedly targeted and boycotted" the foundation. Since 2005, Komen has given funding to 19 of Planned Parenthood's 83 affiliates; last year, the grants totaled $700,000.

Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas, who have already gotten a lot of bad news lately, will be among those losing their Komen funding. According to Sarah Wheat, co-CEO at Planned Parenthood of the North Texas Capital Region, for the past three years Komen funds have helped North Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates refer 1,757 low-income women for mammograms, or 580 a year. The Austin Komen affiliate has helped provide 720 mammograms a year there for the past six years, while in Waco Komen and the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening (BCCS) program, a state effort, are the main sources for breast cancer screening funding. In 2010, Wheat says, that accounted for, among other things, 609 women who received mammograms and 329 who received cervical cancer screenings. (PP can't provide mammograms at their clinics; instead, they refer women to screening centers, pay for services for women who can't afford them, and provide follow-up counseling.)

So what's the deal, Komen? Leslie Aun, a spokesperson for the organization, told the Associated Press that the main reason they're yanking the funding is "a new rule adopted by Komen that prohibits grants to organizations being investigated by local, state or federal authorities." We'd love to ask Aun, or someone else at Komen, when this rule was adopted, but they don't seem to be picking up the phone or answering emails -- not for us and not for The New York Times.

In her original statement, Aun is referring to an investigation launched in October by Congressman Cliff Stearns, a Republican from Florida who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. In a letter sent to Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards, Stearns asked for internal audits from Planned Parenthood dating back 20 years, as well as information on how it segregates "family planning and abortion services," how it deals with "suspected sex trafficking," "suspected sexual abuse" and how it "detects criminal conduct."

Stearns appears to be getting his talking points from Americans United For Life, which, as the American Independent has reported, has called for the federal government to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood and accused the organization of "partnering with pimps." PPFA released a point-by-point rebuttal of a report the AUL issued saying, "The publication manufactured by AUL rejects scientific evidence, promotes false health claims, and recycles misleading and discredited charges, as well as old issues that have already been addressed."

Democrats in the subcommittee have criticized Stearns's one-man investigation; Reps. Henry Waxman of California and Diana DeGette of Colorado wrote a letter to Stearns calling it "unwarranted" and "designed to harass and shut down an organization simply because Republicans disagree with the work that it does."

Stearns has released a statement on Komen's decision to halt their PP funding. It reads, in part:

I commend Susan G. Komen for the Cure for its leadership on breast cancer and I understand how vital breast exams and breast-cancer screening is to the health of millions of Americans. Although Planned Parenthood provides health services, it remains the nation's largest abortion provider. ... [M]y main concern is why the American taxpayers are providing over $1 million a day to Planned Parenthood when we have trillion dollar deficits and a national debt exceeding $15 trillion. Repeated cases of Planned Parenthood ignoring state and local reporting requirements, many involving minors, and allegations of financial abuse led to my investigation as Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee- the first ever oversight conducted on this group."
When we called Stearns's Washington office to inquire about the progress of the investigation -- like, say, if there is any -- spokesperson Paul Flusche sent us another statement from the congressman, which reads, in full:
"This investigation of Planned Parenthood's finances and use of taxpayer dollars is ongoing, and we are continuing to work with Planned Parenthood in getting the requested record and documents. I was not contacted by anyone at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and this decision was solely up to them."
The response to Komen's decision from Planned Parenthood and pro-choice advocates has been swift. There's already a petition at SignOn.org calling on Susan G. Komen "to restore your relationship with Planned Parenthood immediately." In the last day, it's gotten more than 9,000 signatures.

In a statement from Planned Parenthood North Texas, the full text of which is below, board chair Lisa Kraus, a breast cancer survivor herself, said, "I am heartsick to learn that Komen is eliminating its support for these vitally needed breast exams at Planned Parenthood." PPNT has also established a Breast Health Emergency Fund to ensure screenings can continue at facilities that have lost funding.

The Dallas-based Amy and Lee Fikes Foundation provided $250,000 to start the fund. In a statement, they said, in part: "As a family with a breast cancer survivor, we lament the decision of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to abandon women who get their health care at Planned Parenthood clinics. ... We encourage others to join us in replacing the funds lost, so that no woman's health is imperiled by Komen's unfortunate decision."
PPNT Responds To Komen Defunding


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102 comments
BreastCancerHope
BreastCancerHope

 Wow! two thumbs up with you guys. This is the most informative article I have read about breast cancer.Keep it up! You can also visit our website and see some informative articles about breast cancer and buy breast cancer bracelets.

Richard H
Richard H

Koman is a TOTAL SCAM! $417,000.00 a year to the CEO? More Than $100,000.00 for each of the top Execs!! $3,000,000 for travel? The First $100,000,000.00 Per Year is just P iss ed AWAY! Maybe a Self Help Book ( hahaha she sure helped herself!) Should be written.. How to Live Like a Rock Star !! Off Your DEAD Sisters Name!!!

SFJD
SFJD

Dear Komen,

Doctors at Planned Parenthood can screen for breast cancer.

Pink ribbons cannot. 

Just FYI.

alwaysthink
alwaysthink

Nancy Handel is a Registered Lobbyist with Congress for Komen.  Maybe some more investigation is needed.

Common Sense
Common Sense

Kudos to Komen.  It doesn't make any sense to raise money to help save people only to give money to an organization that helps kill people.  All PP has to do is separate their abortion services from all other services, operate on the up and up (ie, not using tax money to fund abortions) and all will be well.  Their stubbornness will be their demise.  

alwaysthink
alwaysthink

They already do that and have for decades used seperate funds.  NO TAX MONEY IS EVER USED FOR termination services.

Amerika
Amerika

Further proof that our Founding Fathers would eliminate the House before more embarrassment occurs...

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm; and that three or more become a Congress!"  --John Adams

Okay, it was really from "1776", but it's still apropos.

NYC - TexAg
NYC - TexAg

"[M]y main concern is why the American taxpayers are providing over $1 million a day to Planned Parenthood when we have trillion dollar deficits and a national debt exceeding $15 trillion." 

How much does Stearns think it will cost the government when all of the kids from unwanted preganancies grow up?  The government will be spending millions of $'s a day expanding the prison system, not to mention the cost of boosting the police force.  Check out Freakonomics for studies tied to Roe v. Wade.

Ginny Cardoza
Ginny Cardoza

who else is losing funding from komen????! if its only planned parenthood then obviously it is politics

Ludicrus
Ludicrus

Read the words about PP - they REFER their women to OTHER organizations for screening.  Komen will be sending their grants to those OTHER organizations that actually DO the screening.  So - PP will no longer point the way for their patients to get help because it costs money to raise your index finger?  Sheesh - PP is more than THREE TIMES the size of KOMEN and yet they raised this huge stink over $700k?  Sour grapes.  Komen funded them for more than ten years and this is the thanks they get.

Guest
Guest

PP provides breast cancer screenings on site. They don't refer them to other organizations that do. Get your facts right.

NONE
NONE

no...not ALL sites have capability to perform breast cancer screenings on site..many do not..and they refer the women to other places for the screening.

Kevin Hough
Kevin Hough

Well, it seems as if Komen has grown tired of chasing down mean little kids trying to sell "Lemonade, Cookies and other stuff "For the Cure" ...What a class act ! Not...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Albert
Albert

Al this ridiculous hysteria over a redirection of funds to those who provide the actual services that PP directs women to.

PP has a billion dollars to carry on the abortion mills, no-one will be stuck with unwanted tissue, the oh-so-important abortion mills won't skip a beat.

But apparently, the actual services like mammograms will suffer because hysterical ninnies are waaaay more concerned with unwanted tissue freedoms are too fucking stupid to look at the FACTS.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

You have no clue what you are talking about.  Go away.

catbird
catbird

As a former fetus myself, I cheer Congressman Stearns and would hope that Komen would publish an apology to all of us for any funding used by "Planned Parenthood" (what an evil organization) to kill my defensless brothers and sisters.

Stealur
Stealur

Abortion is the law of the land. Cry all you want...

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I refuse to give Komen another thin dime. They've jumped in bed w/ the Bushes, so im not surprised this happened. It another fine example of the right-tilting republicon$ trying to make a buck off of others misery...

NONE
NONE

OMG...I bet loss of YOUR huge donations will sink them totally!

Albert
Albert

So you refuse to give money to help provide services to women and fight breast cancer because of GW Bush.

Y'all crack me up.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

These people are just crazy.Where did they come from,how did they make Congress they have not a clue how many people their silly actions are causing.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

And I will no longer be giving money to Susan G. Komen.

NONE
NONE

They will miss your donation like the Salvation Army missed your coins in their kettle this Xmas.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

You keeping track of my charitable donations?  To make sure your list is up to date, I have given Koman $100 a year for a number of years.  I also donate annually to United Way (through work), Planned Parenthood, Wounded Warrior, The Yellow Ribbon Fund, Fisher House and KERA, among others.  One of those charities will get Loman's $100 this year.  But you are right, I didn't put a cent in a Salvation Army kettle; I don't go anywhere near a shopping center around the holidays.  I do, however, buy about $300 worth of Girl Scout cookies every year, which I insist the kid selling the cookies take to a food bank and donate.  

Albert
Albert

Then you are cutting off funds to the people who provide the actual services - THAT is where they are directing their money.

Maybe y'all could look at the facts before become hysterical.

pak152
pak152

so how many breast exams did Planned Parenthood provide compared to the hundreds of thousands of abortions they provided.

a very interesting video about PP and mammograms http://youtu.be/aq0kBkUZbvQ

some interesting statisticshttp://www.opposingviews.com/i...

and this is probably the reason why they are being investigated"Last June, we broke the story titled “Planned Parenthood’s missing millions” that fo- cused on $1.3 billion of government money received by Planned Parenthood from 2003 to 2008, which was left unaccounted for when the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on the expenditures of federal funds by the abortion giant."http://www.washingtontimes.com...

sick of ignorance
sick of ignorance

PP provides breast cancer doctor-performed breast exams.  Not mammograms, as their younger clients don't routinely need mammograms, but DO need doctor's breast exams during physicals.  If a lump is found, the patient is sent to get a mammogram, just like millions of doctors offices do in America.Why do I think you are male?  Washington Times is the best you can do?

Stealur
Stealur

Abortion is the law of the land. Cry about it all you want, but it isn't going anywhere.

pak152
pak152

You're correct that it is the law of the land, however, it should not be as ubiquitous as it is. over 50 million abortions have taken place since Roe v Wade was decided. It is slowly being restricted. restrictions that have not been overturned by SCOTUS. Abortion should be the exception not the rule when it comes to  pregnancy. Imagine if abortion had been legal prior to Steve Jobs birth.

amyc
amyc

"Abortion should be the exception not the rule when it comes to  pregnancy"

Abortion IS the exception; it is the last resort. Most people depend on condoms, the pill, the shot, sponges, diaphragms, vaginal rings, implants, IUDS, pulling out, or FAM plans. All of those things are way more cost effective and easier to do than getting an abortion. Imagine the children we're missing due to condoms, the pill, depo-provera (shot), sponges, diaphragms, vaginal rings, implants, IUDS, pulling out and FAM plans. Now, imagine the women who used to die due to complications from either back alley abortions or unplanned/unsafe pregnancies: http://www.now.org/issues/abor...

Picky153
Picky153

Oh, yeah, way to provide all these crushing, independently verified links with loaded language word vomit, surely, they expose the big financial scandal behind Big Coat Hangar. All the PP clinics I've seen are obviously rolling in it; they're opulent spas where berobed women recline on leather chaises with vacuum hose attachments, sipping chai tea and smoking hookas connected to a crack pipe in the center of the room as mostly-naked men carry trays of fruit and dispense flyers with directions to the next orgy where their ova will be freshly fertilized so it may be harvested there, and for the last batch to be a sacrifice to the goddess of blood, bumper stickers, and sandalwood, Christmare.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

PP was a third party involved  for the Pitiful sum that Komen provided for them

This might shock you but I really don't think the FEDGOV should be funding PP at all With or with out The "A" they provide .I do believe that they would do better to be independent the FEDGOV and STATE GOV Strings that allow  Pecker-woods like the congressman ho is grandstanding for His people to do what he is doing.

If they can't do what they need to do with out pandering to The FEDGOV and State Gov for Cash to do it then sorry it is time to close shop and find another line of work.

I am sure a mega Church or Americans United For Life, will roll right in and pick up the slack. (Voice Dripping Sarcasm here!)

Montemalone
Montemalone

What we need is a category 12 hurricane to blow Florida out into the Atlantic. Nothing good ever comes out of that place.We can get orange juice from Texas or California, and there's plenty of other beaches.

Albert
Albert

That's the spirit. Kill the bastards!

Mike3647
Mike3647

Regardless of your politics, seems to me that people think that the money they give to Komen goes towards breast cancer.  Stupid people.

Anon
Anon

It is no longer the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The management of the organization shortened the name to, simply, the Coward Foundation.

Albert
Albert

Holy shit, where will the poor go to abort their fetal tissue now?

NONE
NONE

Westboro Baptist Church comes to mind as a sympathetic group.

Guest
Guest

We need to save these babies so we can continue to demonize poor women for having too many babies.

NONE
NONE

Did BUSH do it?  or Tyrone?

Albert
Albert

This will not affect the tissue-removal one tiny bit, you realize this don't you?

Not one woman will be forced to bear the burden of raising unwanted tissue because of the decision, not one. Zero, zip, nadsa.

But, looking at this board, apparently this is the end of civilized society.

Pure bullshit. Ya'll buy your own hysteria too easily.

Guest
Guest

I was just noting what the official Republican position toward abortion and poor people is.

Also, if cutting off this funding does nothing to prevent or limit even a single abortion, then why do it (especially knowing that it will then come out of women's health programs)?

NONE
NONE

should trolls be aborted via Government Funded troll vacuumized removal procedures....and is there a time period beyond which trolls cannot be vacuumed away and must stay on the blog forever?

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

Obvious troll is obvious. 

Anon
Anon

that would be clever, if the likely answer wasn't the black market, where their chances of serious complications or death are much higher.

the answer is not that they will decide to have their babies and love them and give them the support they need to become productive members of society. and since the same people who want them to have the babies want to cut off funding for programs that would help give prenatal care to poor women or monetary assistance once the kid is born, they are shit out of luck there too. but hey, we will have saved the world from one more abortion so that's good. 

NONE
NONE

"BLACK MARKET" IS CLEARLY CODE WORDS FOR RACIST ANTI BLACK RHETORIC BY YOU  KLUXERS. JWP WILL TELL YOU TO "GO TO HELL, YOU WHITE PEOPLE".

Albert
Albert

Are you aware that PP has over a billion dollars? You can eliminate a lot of unwanted tissue with that kind of money.

The services PP directed women to will receive the money, and the PP abortion mill won't even skip a beat.

The caterwauling about coat hangers is pure bullshit.

Stealur
Stealur

You are unwanted tissue.

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