I don’t know that there will BE a Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure for much longer, but let the record show that they have been forced into a complete reversal on their high-profile effort to defund Planned Parenthood. This exposed the right-wing tendency inside the foundation’s leadership, appalling much of their membership. It led to the resignations of several high-level staffers. And now, the foundation has been brought to heel.
Grants from the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure are flowing to Planned Parenthood, as the women’s health organizations seek to rebuild their relationship after the controversy in February over the breast cancer charity’s unsuccessful attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.
At least 17 Planned Parenthood affiliates will be funded this year, about the same number that received grants in 2011, according to a tally provided by Komen. The total amount of the grants, which are for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services, is still being worked out. Most recipients this year also received funds last year.
A half-dozen applications were turned down, mostly because the local Komen affiliates lacked funds, executives said. It is not unusual for there to be more applicants than available funds, although in some locations the controversy has hurt donations.
So to the extent there is any gap in funding Planned Parenthood, it’s because donations are significantly lagging at the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure. And remember that Planned Parenthood raised hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars at the height of the Komen controversy. So they get that on top of the continued grants.
Let this be a reminder to those who try to bring their politics into the realm of charity fundraising. Planned Parenthood grants are one of the main things of value that the Komen Foundation bestows. That money doesn’t go to pink ribbons and hats. I think eventually, donors who want to fund health services for women may skip the middleman and just give to Planned Parenthood rather than the tarnished Komen Foundation. And that would be exactly what the foundation deserves.