As we reported earlier, the Susan G. Komen Foundation has been thrust into the national spotlight for reasons other than fighting breast cancer and finding a cure- the organization may have set breast cancer treatment and screening access back for hundreds of thousands of low-income women in the United States due to its controversial decision to defund Planned Parenthood.
The battle between anti-abortion activists and the organization is one area where the polarization of the American political landscape becomes horribly clear- while only 3% of the services Planned Parenthood provides are related to abortion, 16% are related to breast cancer screening and services. And with the appointment of a politician from Georgia who is anti-abortion, it seems the move was more political than those who donate to the organization with the sole intent of improving survival rates for breast cancer might prefer.
Cheezburger blog The Daily What did a great summary of the issue, noting:
Taking Komen’s excuse — which includes the line “we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission” — on its face becomes problematic when considering that all of the money granted to Planned Parenthood by Komen was being used to provide screenings to uninsured or underinsured women… For the record, “abortion services” make up 3% of total services provided by Planned Parenthood. Cancer screening and prevention? 16%.
The story has sparked some pretty interesting debate over on our Facebook page, but it seems clear that the overriding factoid here is that without the funding Komen provides to Planned Parenthood- funding that won’t go to pay for abortions- many women who are least able to afford breast cancer screening and treatment will get it. And as someone who is gray on abortion at best, I think we can all agree this is not in the best interests of women- many of whom have rightly pledged to donate directly to Planned Parenthood instead of Komen. Do you agree with Komen’s decision to throw the breast cancer baby out with the abortion bathwater?