Last year, I wrote about the grants that the Susan G. Komen Foundation (the breast cancer people) were giving to Planned Parenthood. Those grants were a disgrace–they served no purpose except to fatten PP’s bottom line, since that organization is unlicensed to do anything other than minimal breast exams, the kind women can do in their shower. Lots of pressure was brought on the Komen Foundation to get out of the business of supporting America’s biggest abortion mill, and it looks like it may have done the trick. According to the Associated Press:
The nation’s leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates – creating a bitter rift, linked to the abortion debate, between two iconic organizations that have assisted millions of women.
The change will mean a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.
Planned Parenthood says the move results from Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists. Komen says the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress – a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups.
Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before, going to at least 19 of its affiliates for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services.
Boo hoo. Maybe they could have used the money they’re spending on their new headquarters to replace the Komen funding:
The nation’s biggest abortion business has purchased part of a building in New York City that will become its national headquarters. New city records reveal Planned Parenthood purchased a commercial condo unit at 424 West 33rd Street for $34.8 million.
Not that PP does anything without grabbing money out of the government:
According to the New York City Industrial Development, “Approximately $15,000,000 civic facility revenue bond transaction for the benefit of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization that provides services to, and coordinates the activities nationally of, its member affiliates in the areas of reproductive and complementary health care and education services and promotion of research and advancement of technology in reproductive health care.”
“The proceeds of the bonds will be used to finance or refinance the renovation, equipping and furnishing of leasehold improvements constituting approximately 104,000 square feet of space in an approximately 192,000 square foot building located upon an approximately 13,045 square foot parcel of land located at 424-438 West 33rd Street, New York, New York, Block 729, Lot 163, to be used in whole, or in part, by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Inc., The Planned Parenthood Foundation, Inc., and Affiliates Risk Management Services, Inc.
Anyway, back to Komen. They say the cutoff is because of a congressional investigation:
Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said the cutoff results from the charity’s newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. According to Komen, this applies to Planned Parenthood because it’s the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., seeking to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions.
While PP says it’s because Komen bowed to political pressure:
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has depicted Stearns’ probe as politically motivated and said she was dismayed that it had contributed to Komen’s decision to halt the grants to PPFA affiliates.
“It’s hard to understand how an organization with whom we share a mission of saving women’s lives could have bowed to this kind of bullying,” Richards told The Associated Press. “It’s really hurtful.”
Yeah, sucks to be you, doesn’t it, Cecile? She’s the head of an organization that has a $1 billion budget, gets almost half it’s money from the taxpayers, made close to a $20 million profit in 2010, and kills hundreds of thousands of baby girls every year, and she’s crying over the loss of a few hundred thousand bucks from a foundation whose mission really is to save women’s lives. My heart just bleeds for her distress.
Kudos to the Komen Foundation for doing the right thing, whatever the reasons (but don’t think we won’t be watching to see if they resume the funding once Rep. Stearns’ investigation is over).
(Via Hot Air.)
UPDATE: I’ve been out of town and off the Net since early yesterday morning, so I was shocked to open my news page this morning to see this from the Yahoo News:
Susan G. Koman for the Cure has reversed its decision to end grants to Planned Parenthood after twenty-two Democratic senators sent a letter to the group’s founder and CEO urging it to reconsider the decision.
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.
The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.
Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.
Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. 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.
It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics.
Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work. We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.
We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.
This is pathetic. Planned Parenthood doesn’t need Komen’s money, and does virtually no good with it (it certainly doesn’t save any lives). For Komen to claim that none of this had anything to do with politics is transparent nonsense, and the criteria it lays out for stopping funding of an organization (“criminal and conclusive in nature and not political”) can always be used as an out, since any investigation of Planned Parenthood will be accused of being political (and no matter how many PP employees are eventually convicted of criminal behavior, it can always be rationalized that they were just bad apples in a basically good barrel).
So much for the pat on the back, and so much for my support. Again.
UPDATE: As Mark puts it in the comments, this is at least in part a matter of the spoiled children of the angry left bullying its way into someone else’s pockets. Daniel Foster at NRO puts it this way, beginning with a quote from a pro-choice libertarian:
Will Wilkinson, who is pro legal abortion and probably the libertarian with whom I agree least often, gets it exactly right on this score, observing that there is more than a little gangsterism in the response from the PP set:
“You know, I’m not a big fan of Komen’s brandification of breast cancer, I dislike seeing pink ribbons plastered over everything, and I think Planned Parenthood is real swell, abortions and all. So I’m not especially inclined to come to Komen’s aid. But I’ll be damned if this doesn’t look a bit like PP throwing it’s weight around, knocking a few pieces of china off the shelves, sending a message to its other donors: ‘Nice foundation you got there. Wouldn’t want anything to, you know, happen to it.'”
Look, the beauty of free speech is that, if you’re inclined to do so, you can write a check to PP in an act of solidarity, or write a check to Komen as an expression of moral approval. That’s all fine. But there’s something quite a bit different, something creepy and not a little despicable, about the Planned Parenthood set’s besmirching Komen’s good name across a thousand platforms for having the audacity to stop giving them free money. And I don’t care why that decision was made, frankly. If it was made because PP is controversial and under congressional “investigation,” that’s a perfectly valid reason for an organization to disentangle itself. If it was made because they judged that money would have a greater impact if directed toward the provision of actual mammograms and not just clinical screenings, that makes sense. And if the decision was made because a controlling faction at Komen feels a moral disgust toward the dismemberment of viable fetuses and would rather not subsidize an outfit that does that 300,000 times a year — well that’s fine, too. None of those rationales justifies the outrageous non-sequiturs about how Komen “hates poor women.”
Amen to that.