Thursday, February 09, 2012

Susan G. Komen vs. Planned Parenthood - Not a Fair Fight

If you follow the American political scene at all you will have become very familiar with a charity called Komen over the past few weeks. Komen first announced they were declaring Planned Parenthood ineligible for future grants. After coming under blistering attacks from Planned Parenthood and the popular press they reversed their decision and apologized. Since then, their Vice President Karen Handel, an evangelical Christian,  has resigned, declining a separation package in order to maintain her ability to speak publicly.

Susan G. Komen passed away in 1980 from breast cancer. While she was fighting the disease, she was also looking for ways to improve the lives of others who were in the same battle. After she passed away, her sister, Nancy G. Brinker founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure to advance the work of finding a cure for breast cancer. Since its inception in 1982, the charity has raised over $1.9 billion and distributed this to non-profit groups working to find a cure for breast cancer. This is a truly remarkable organization. They certainly don't deserve what has happened over the past couple of weeks.

They have recently been thrust into the spotlight through their association with Planned Parenthood (PPFA). The PPFA is currently under investigation by a House Committee for allegations including:
  • Financial irregularities
  • Non-Compliance with federal regulations on taxpayer funding
  • Concerns that it is covering up cases of sex trafficking
Komen has been providing funding to the PPFA in the hundreds of thousands of dollars specifically for funding for education or screening for breast cancer. This funding amounted to a drop in the bucket for the giant PPFA, which has a yearly budget of more than $1 billion yearly. All of the above has been widely reported by mainstream media. What follows has not been so widely known. Here are the pertinent and revealing facts.

The Board of Komen decided months ago that they would be de-funding PPFA due to the ongoing investigation as a matter of policy. They informed Planned Parenthhod of their decision in December, letting them know that there would be a public announcement to that affect at a later date. Karen Handel charges that Planned Parenthood used that time to prepare for an all-out attack against Komen once the story became public. As she told Fox News, “What was unleashed over this past week was a vicious attack against a great organization and…individual attacks against [Komen founder] Nancy Brinker, an individual whom I admire greatly – and I would think all of us should be saddened that an outside org should put this kind of pressure on another organization.”

The overwhelming media response to these events has been to paint Planned Parenthood as a victim of some kind of Pro-life hack job by Karen Handel. Planned Parenthood has instead been handed a fund-raising windfall as moneys have been pouring in from an aggravated pro-choice base. So let's review:
  • Planned Parenthood is being investigated for financial irregularities involving multiple millions of U.S. Federal Funds.
  • Komen decides as an organization, by unanimous vote of its Board, to not give funds to Planned Parenthood while they are under investigation. (Remember, Komen is a non-profit charity, free to fund any group they wish that falls within the umbrella of breast cancer research). 
  • Upon hearing the announcement, pro-abortion organizations began to deluge Komen with complaints, demanding that V.P. Karen Handel be fired, blaming her for the decision.
  • Funds role in for Planned Parenthood,  in 3 days they raised $3 million. That was almost five times what Komen was giving them over a year. 
  • Komen reverses their decision, agreeing to consider PPFA for grant moneys in the future.
  • Komen's reputation has been dragged through the mud, finally resulting in the resignation of V.P. Handel.
What does this reveal about these organizations? Firstly, it demonstrates that Planned Parenthood is a political behemoth and a bully. As Handel stated: “The last time I checked, private non-profit organizations have a right and a responsibility to be able to set the highest standards and criteria on their own without interference, let alone the level of vicious attacks and coercion that has occurred by Planned Parenthood. It’s simply outrageous." 

Secondly, it demonstrates the extreme bias of the mainstream media as it seemed everyone was "piling on," with righteous indignation that Komen would do such a thing. I find it bizarre that a decision to de-fund an organization that is itself the source of such controversy should be met with such hostility. I found the first interview with Handel interesting. 





At the end of the day, my hope is that Komen can recover from the brutality of this past couple of weeks. I'm no fan of Planned Parenthood, being the largest abortion provider in the world. This sorry ordeal has merely confirmed my opinion of them.

Related Articles:
Canada's Shame
Planned Parenthood Aids Pimp's Underage Sex Ring
Why the abortion issue won't go away
The Manhattan Declaration
Words of Death: "It's A Girl!"
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