**** Update: 4:22 PM It now appears that the Susan G. Komen Foundation has decided to reinstate the funding to Planned Parenthood.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/03/susan-g-komen-uturn-planned-parenthood .****


As you may have heard, the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure recently decided to reallocate the $700,000 it had been giving to Planned Parenthood for the purpose of fighting breast cancer. This relationship had been previously questioned on the basis that Planned Parenthood does not even perform mammograms but merely refers women to get them.

While the Komen Foundation maintains that the decision was a result of an internal policy prohibiting them from supporting organizations under federal investigation, few have accepted this explanation. The move set off a firestorm of protest. Planned Parenthood supporters took to the streets and took to their pens to criticize the Komen Foundation’s decision. Pro-life advocates, who have long decried the association, conversely applauded the move. Donations have poured into both the Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood.

I recently read at New York Times editorial on the subject entitled “A Painful Betrayal” and, quite frankly, it made me mad. The article is littered with angry, judgmental, and provocative language, and also contains patently deceptive information.

Before I offer a few comments critiquing the article, two relevant points must be made. First, Planned Parenthood supporters are quick to point out that the organization is much more than an abortion provider. This is true. Not all of PP’s services (and not even a majority) are abortion specific and even strongly pro-life individuals would see value in many of the things they do.

Secondly, prior to its disassociation with PP, Komen required that any financial support be used specifically for cancer related services and not go to providing abortions. Although this might sound like an effective prohibition, it falls short. Planned Parenthood is then free to reallocate non-restricted funds to provide abortions. If the goal is to prohibit donated money from enabling more abortions, then the only way to accomplish this is to withhold money from Planned Parenthood.

One need look no farther than the title alone to determine the position the author takes on this issue. Komen is accused of “undermin(ing) women’s health and freedom.” and “tarnish(ing) its brand”. The author also calls the move a “sharp departure from political neutrality”. Seriously? Since when did financially supporting the nation’s largest abortion provider come to define political neutrality? The Komen Foundation’s move to disassociate itself from a prominent pro-abortion provider should be viewed as a move toward neutrality and away from taking a stand on divisive moral issues.

The author also cites a deceptive statistic, circulated by Planned Parenthood, which states that only three percent of the services PP provides are abortions. This may be technically true since most women who visit Planned Parenthood receive more than one “service”. For instance, a woman visiting a clinic might get a pregnancy test or participate in a counseling visit in addition to getting an abortion. NPR clarified this statistic by explaining that PP sees three million patients per year and provides 300,000 abortions. This means that at least ten percent of the women visiting Planned Parenthood during a calendar year receive abortions.

Whatever the actual reason for the Komen Foundation’s decision, it was the right choice to make.