Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, which has become synonymous with women's fight against breast cancer, has made the news recently for its decision first to cut all its funding to Planned Parenthood for breast health screenings, then by reversing its decision.

Update 2/3/2002:

Apparently bowing to widespread pressure, the Komen Foundation has announced that it will in fact not cut its funding to Planned Parenthood.

The original announcement sparked a web-riot, with very vocal objections and equally vocal cries of support. The results on the MomMD poll were tilted heavily towards disagreeing with the original announcement, with 68.9% disagreeing with the decision (either somewhat or strongly disagreeing) and 24.2% agreeing with the decision.

With the outrcy, we have to wonder if the Komen Foundation has angered too many people with first the announcement and now the reversal, to maintain its previously near-pristine brand. We'd like your opinion: please vote in the accompanying poll.

Original article: Some accuse the charity of capitulating to pressure from anti-choice organizations in a decision that denies breast health care to many women. Komen says the move is not about choice and points to new guidelines that bar it from funding organizations under congressional investigation.

Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation by Congress, under a case opened by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Florida). The investigation presents itself as either an unfortunate inconvenience that the Komen organization simply cannot overlook, or it's an all-too-convenient excuse to cut ties to a polarizing entity.

Planned Parenthood health centers are often the main source of health care for women in underserved communities, and they provide 830,000 breast exams every year, according to its figures. And 170,000 of those exams were funded through Komen, along with 6,400 mammogram referrals, cites The Los Angeles Times. Many of these women could find themselves unable to access screenings and early detection of breast cancer without Komen funding.

Many decry what they perceive as Komen's strong links to the anti-choice movement, pointing to the April 2011 hiring of Karen Handel. Serving as Komen's Senior Vice President for Public Policy, Handel ran for governor of Georgia in 2010 on what is described as an anti-choice platform, part of which was a pledge to defund Planned Parenthood.

Pro-choice, anti-choice, no matter where your beliefs fall, the fundamental issue is women's health. We want to know how the MomMD community feels about this issue. Please take a moment to participate in our poll, at right.

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