Senators to Susan G Komen Foundation: Re-Fund Planned Parenthood
24 senators signed a letter to the Susan G. Komen Foundation asking them to reverse their decision to cut funds to Planned Parenthood. Mollie Williams, a Komen Foundation official, has resigned to protest the organization's decision.
In a letter that two dozen senators - 22 democrats and 2 republicans - sent to the Susan G Komen Foundation, they expressed their disappointment in the foundation's decision to cut funds to Planned Parenthood.
The Hidden Agenda Behind the Susan G. Komen Foundation Policy
Mollie Williams, an ex-Komen official who resigned to protest the foundation's decision on cutting funds to Planned Parenthood, said the "policy" that the Susan G. Komen foundation adopted for the pure and solo purpose of cutting funds to Planned Parenthood. The policy, which states that the foundation will not fund organizations under government investigation was put into place in 2011. The Foundation grants money to over 2,000 organizations, and so far the policy only effects one organization: Planned Parenthood, who was called out by a rich, white male senator with a political agenda in September of 2011.
In September of 2011, Republican Florida Rep. Cliff Stearns, chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, launched what appeared to be a politically motivated investigation and demanded that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates produce an onerous amount of records, some going as far back as 13 years, in an attempt to find public money being used to fund abortions within the Planned Parenthood clinics.
In December, the Susan G. Komen Foundation made the decision to cut Planned Parenthood's funds for breast exams and other preventative care for women by issuing a statement to the Komen employees. The statement, written by Foundation President Elizabeth Thompson, said:
In order to align the terms of the grant contract with our grant eligibility criteria and to ensure that our granting meets the highest standards, several important updates will become effective January 1, 2012. Specifically:
Currently, a Komen grant may be terminated if, among other things, the grantee loses or changes its tax exempt status, is barred from receiving federal or state funds, or if we learn of any financial and/or administrative improprieties. Going forward, these same standards will now also be used in determining eligibility for Komen grants.
Further, should Komen become aware that an applicant or its affiliates are under formal investigation for financial or administrative improprieties by local, state or federal authorities, the applicant will be ineligible to receive a grant. An organization may regain its eligibility once the investigation is concluded if the organization and its related affiliates are cleared of any wrongdoing.
The Letter from the Senators to the Susan G. Komen Foundation
Below is the letter to Komen Ambassador Nancy Brinker, signed by the 24 senators opposing the decision to cut funds to Planned Parenthood in an attempt to persuade the Komen Foundation to reverse its decision.
"Dear Ambassador Brinker,
We write to express our disappointment with Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s decision to cut funding for breast cancer prevention, screening, and education at Planned Parenthood health centers. This troubling decision threatens to reduce access to necessary, life-saving services. We urge Komen to reconsider its decision.
Planned Parenthood is a trusted provider of health care for women and men. More than 90 percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood are primary and preventative including wellness exams and cancers screenings that save lives. Each year, Planned Parenthood health clinics provide 750,000 breast exams, 770,000 pap tests and nearly 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases. Twenty percent of all women in the U.S. have visited a Planned Parenthood health center.
For the past five years, grants to local affiliates of Planned Parenthood have been an important part of Planned Parenthood’s work to protect women from breast cancer. Komen funding for Planned Parenthood has provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and resulted in 6,400 referrals for mammograms. In 2011 alone, grants from Komen provided Planned Parenthood with roughly $650,000 in funding for breast cancer prevention, screening, and education. According to a recent statement by Komen, “In some areas of the U.S., our affiliates have determined a Planned Parenthood clinic to be the best or only local place where women can receive breast health care.”
It would be tragic if any woman —let alone thousands of women — lost access to these potentially life-saving screenings because of a politically motivated attack.
We earnestly hope that you will put women’s health before partisan politics and reconsider this decision for the sake of the women who depend on both your organizations for access to the health care they need.
The letter is signed by Senators Lautenberg (D), Murray(D), Mikulski (D), Boxer (D), Cantwell (D), Gillibrand (D), Menendez (D), Wyden (D), Blumenthal (D), Shaheen (D), Begich (R), Merkley (D), Tester (R), Akaka (D), Sanders (D), (Sherrod) Brown (D), Leahy (D), Baucus (D), Cardin (D), Feinstein (D), Franken (D), and Kerry .
That relatively conservative senators like Begich and Tester signed the letter is testament to how broad the opposition to this decision has really become.