With a sigh of relief from women across America, the Susan G Komen Foundation revoked its decision to stop providing funding for select Planned Parenthood programs. The reversal came after mass public outrage when the Foundation decided to cut off the funds.
The Foundation released a statement, saying “We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.”
With grants from the Komen Foundation, Planned Parenthood has been able to perform 170,000 breast cancer screenings. Breast cancer screenings that may have saved hundreds upon thousands of lives, due to early detection (or detection at all).
So why on Earth would the foundation, whose mission is to save lives (particularly by preventing and treating cancer, along with searching for a cure), restrict funding for breast cancer screenings meant for women who would otherwise not be able to afford them?
Unfortunately, the Komen Foundation allowed politically fueled conflict cloud their judgement. Their previous decision to end the support of Planned Parenthood and its services was sparked by those who fervently (and irrationally) oppose it and called for the Foundation to retract its monetary support. Yes, it is true that Planned Parenthood operates family clinics that perform abortions across the country. No, it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only service that Planned Parenthood offers. In reality, only about 3% of the group’s services actually attribute to abortions. The vast majority of what Planned Parenthood provides is prevention, family planning, and screening.
Luckily, the public outcry from Planned Parenthood supporters everywhere made it very clear to the Komen Foundation that its decision was a huge mistake. Mayor Bloomberg of New York City pledged $250,000 to help match the loss in funding. In addition, Planned Parenthood itself raised almost half a million dollars in the first 24 hours after initial announcement of an online fundraiser, put on after Komen’s decision to help make up the loss. By Friday, the group raised more than $3 million.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about Planned Parenthood and the many, many services it actually does offer. However, when warped, nonsensical judgements get in the way of seeing the whole picture (saving lives, ultimately), that is a sad thing. I am proud to stand with Planned Parenthood, and support the health and well-being of women in America, and rejoice in our ability to have affordable breast cancer screenings.