The Susan G. Komen Foundation’s move to eliminate its financial support of Planned Parenthood is a real losing proposition, for the people being served and for the organization’s reputation. Planned Parenthood was threatened with the loss of nearly $700,000 to expand breast examinations, and the Komen Foundation lost a huge amount of credibility.
This blunder shows that Komen Foundation executives are craven, dishonest, naïve and short-sighted. Craven, because their new policy [not providing grants to any non-profit under investigation] seemed to cave to a recent pro-life hire and selected donors already working with the legislator who triggered this investigation of Planned Parenthood. Dishonest, because they said that abortion politics had nothing to do with their decision. Naïve, because Planned Parenthood is almost always being investigated by Congress to ensure that no federal dollars are going for abortions either here or abroad. And short-sighted, because of the potential for immediate and damaging backlash.
Donations to Planned Parenthood immediately shot up, including a quarter of a million dollars from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Many donors to the Susan G. Komen fund said they’d give elsewhere.
Now the Susan G. Komen fund, apparently realizing the blatant stupidity of its move, has just announced that it 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.”
“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.” The announcement didn’t indicate what would be the basis of any future denials of Planned Parenthood requests for funding support.
Both organizations are concerned with women’s health, and it made sense for the Susan G. Komen to expand breast cancer screenings by tapping into the Planned Parenthood population of women seeking birth control, abortion and related women’s health services. There is clear complementarity in their missions. But,if you’re concerned about breast cancer, there are many other places to donate your money to besides the Susan G. Komen fund. And Planned Parenthood stands virtually alone in defending women’s reproductive rights. No doubt now about which of these two organizations is a better charitable investment.
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