The Susan G. Komen Foundation is a fund-raising behemoth. The charity, which is perhaps best known for its breast-cancer runs, has long been synonymous with concern for women’s health. And, until today, with concern for women’s reproductive health: The foundation was closely allied with Planned Parenthood, and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of funding, most of which went directly to providing breast exams. But now the Komen Foundation is cutting ties with Planned Parenthood, reports the Associated Press, in what looks like a clearly political move.
Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said the cutoff results from the charity’s newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. According to Komen, this applies to Planned Parenthood because it’s the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., seeking to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has depicted Stearns’ probe as politically motivated and said she was dismayed that it had contributed to Komen’s decision to halt the grants to PPFA affiliates.
“It’s hard to understand how an organization with whom we share a mission of saving women’s lives could have bowed to this kind of bullying,” Richards told The Associated Press. “It’s really hurtful.”
The left is, predictably, pretty upset. Amanda Marcotte, for instance, pointed out that the foundation recently hired an anti-abortion VP of public policy. “Susan G. Komen: comprehensive health care advocacy on behalf of some women. The sort that don’t rely on Planned Parenthood,” tweeted Rebecca Traister, while Joan Walsh added, “The Komen Foundation just destroyed its brand, and it’s going to be very, very sorry.”