Friday, February 3, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Komen reinstates grants to Planned Parenthood

UPDATE: Komen VP, and anti-choicer, Karen Handel has resigned. She said in her resignation letter that she had supported de-funding Planned Parenthood. This is important in part because it shows that Komen recognizes the severity of their decision and hopefully indicates that they're moving in the right direction re: women's health. Learn more here

UPDATE:  Planned Parenthood just sent me an email saying that in the past 3 days, they have received 3 million dollars in donations. All of this money will go toward cancer screenings. That is amazing! I'm so happy that so many people put women's health ahead of politics.

After a huge outcry, the Susan G. Komen foundation has issued an apology and reinstated funding to Planned Parenthood!

Read more about it here and here.

I'm beyond thrilled, especially now that Planned Parenthood will have lots of extra money from recent donations on top of the Komen grant. But I'm not sure the Komen foundation can recover from their mistake and honestly, they've lost my support unless they can demonstrate that they've thought long and hard about what their priorities are re: women's health. If anything, this whole debacle has brought attention to the organization's leadership and raised serious concerns about their practices.


  1. In your earlier posting, you noted "$700,000... funded 170,000 clinical breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals at Planned Parenthood centers across the nation."

    You realize that comes out to less than $4 a procedure, right? Are these procedures really that cheap? If so, why do they require subsidies? Even low-income women could afford a life-saving procedure that costs less than a fast food meal.

    Also, the Susan G Komen foundation has $400 million in yearly revenues, $52 million of which goes towards funding health screenings. $700K is 0.175% of their total budget, and 1.3% of their health screening budget. It sounds that even absent the grants to PP, SGK is still fairly committed to the cause.

    The real political story is not pulling the grants - it's re-instating them. It's a perfect example of rent-seeking after succumbing to political pressure.

  2. I apologize, my writing was unclear. If you read the article that had that stat, Komen gives approx. $700,000 per year. The 170,000 clinical breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals at Planned Parenthood is over the past five years.

    According to the CDC, there is a huge disparity between the number of screenings white and middle class women receive and the number of screenings minority and low-income women receive. Komen themselves publicized that study.

    I think there are lots of issues with the Komen foundation. People have been increasingly critical of them for awhile, even before the Planned Parenthood debacle. Regardless of the percentage of Komen's total budget, these cancer screenings save lives. And prioritizing politics before women's lives is shameful.

    But there is definitely a story in re-funding Planned Parenthood. It means that women and men across the country will rally around women's health.