Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, is pulling the funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood centers. In a statement on its website, Planned Parenthood attributed the decision to, “pressure from anti-women’s health political organizations,” and said, “At immediate risk are low-income women, many located in rural and under served communities, served by 19 Planned Parenthood programs funded by the Komen Foundation. This funding has enabled designated Planned Parenthood health centers to provide women with breast health education, screenings, and referrals for mammograms — lifesaving care for women where Planned Parenthood is their only source of health care.”
According to the New York Times, a Komen spokeswoman told the Associated Press, “ the main factor in the decision was a new rule adopted by Komen that prohibits grants to organizations being investigated by local, state or federal authorities…. Planned Parenthood was therefore disqualified from financing because of an inquiry being conducted by Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, who is looking at how Planned Parenthood spends and reports its money.”
Just last week, the Susan G. Komen organization issued a press release touting the benefits of screening women of all economic levels. The release read:
Officials with Susan G. Komen for the Cure hailed new government figures that found the gap between white and minority women is narrowing when it comes to breast cancer screening rates, but expressed concern that the numbers still fall short of national goals.
“We’re heartened by word that breast cancer screening rates have been relatively stable in the past decade, but more than concerned that we’re not meeting national targets for breast screenings across all population groups,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Komen founder and CEO. “These figures underscore the need for more women to get educated and get screened if we are to make progress against breast cancer, which is still the number one cancer killer of women worldwide.”
Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that overall, breast cancer screening rates in 2010 were 72.4 percent, well below the national target of 81 percent in CDC’s Healthy People 2020 goals.
“This gap in care for uninsured and low-income women is particularly troubling and one we have been working very hard to fill at Susan G. Komen,” Brinker said. “It’s clear that we have far more work to do for women who have no resources, no insurance, and no steady source of healthcare. They need our help the most.”
Planned Parenthood is raising funds to offset this disturbing move. You can make a donation here.