Forget pink. The decision by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to stop funding affiliates of Planned Parenthood has unleashed a red-hot response among women who had once been Komen supporters.
Komen announced late Tuesday it would no longer fund Planned Parenthood affiliates because the organization is under congressional investigation. It’s a major blow. Planned Parenthood received $680,000 from Komen last year, according to one report. That money enabled it to provide breast cancer screenings for thousands of low-income women who might not otherwise have access to preventive care.
And why is Planned Parenthood under investigation? Congressional Republicans are probing whether the organization’s federal funding in any way enables it to administer abortions, which would violate the Hyde Amendment.
Planned Parenthood has long denied the funding is connected to abortion services, but abortion opponents don’t buy it—they believe federal funds free up other dollars in the PP budget for the procedure.
Anti-abortion groups are cheered by the Komen decision, because they have long argued for a link between abortion and breast cancer, although that view has no solid foundation in medical research.
The Komen foundation put its stamp on breast cancer research with its pink ribbon campaign and other events, raising funds and consciousness about the disease. It created a community of women and men with a single goal: to find a cure. Breast cancer strikes everyone, no matter your race, ethnicity or political affiliation.
Now that sense of unity has evaporated. People are taking sides. Many who once supported Komen say they’ll take their donations elsewhere and plan to drop out of other Komen activities.
It’s hard to see who the winners are in this mess. As so often happens when their bodies become a political battleground, women ultimately lose.