BLOGSusan G. Komen Grants to Planned Parenthood In Support of Breast Cancer Screening Result In Zero Mammograms

By Lauren Fraher Posted on: | September 04, 2015

When we see the Komen Pink Ribbon, pinned on lapels, stamped on bumper stickers, and slung proudly across banners, we are comforted knowing that a cure for the disease that has impacted so many of our loved ones has a staunch and worthy opponent. Unfortunately, the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s iconic pink ribbon shares a stage with an organization frequently engulfed in scandal. Plenty of attention has been given to the moral questions surrounding Komen’s  funding of the nation’s leading abortion provider, but relatively little attention has been paid to whether Komen (and its donors) are even getting any benefit from being tied to such an ethically-challenged organization. While much of Komen’s work is indeed lifesaving, its yearly contribution to Planned Parenthood has yet to produce a measurable impact in the lives of women battling breast cancer.

Many recipients of Susan G. Komen Foundation grants provide screening tests and interventions crucial to women’s health, such as free screening or diagnostic mammograms, breast MRIs, and breast biopsies.  For example, in 2013 (pg. 40), Florida Hospital's Komen Breast Care Program received $50,000 from Komen, which resulted in approximately 755 free screening mammograms, 189 diagnostic mammograms, 20 breast MRIs and 25 breast biopsies for uninsured, underinsured, or underserved women.

However, not all Komen grants are used as effectively. In the same year, Planned Parenthood was awarded twelve Komen grants for breast cancer screening totaling $677,287—as well as grants totaling $121,351 for education and $9831 for treatment, making the total award $808,469. With those funds, Planned Parenthood performed zero mammograms. Not a single one. In fact, zero mammograms have occurred on site of any Planned Parenthood clinic in the history of the organization due to a lack of equipment and licensing.

In 2012, Komen and Planned Parenthood dominated the news as Komen announced that it would no longer award grants to Planned Parenthood. Between a congressional investigation and lack of mammography equipment, it appeared that Komen saw an opportunity to bow out and in doing so earned themselves a serious reproach. CEO Nancy Brinker said, “We have decided not to fund, wherever possible, pass-through grants… What we would like to have are clinics where we can directly fund mammograms.” Unfortunately backlash from this decision resulted in media uproar and "cry poor" tactics by Planned Parenthood president, Cecile Richards. Richards appealed to Planned Parenthood supporters during this time of so-called crisis and more than made up for the absence of the Komen grants. This campaign was intended to shame the nonprofit Komen Foundation into returning to the Planned Parenthood donor base—and  it did only days after the announcement.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation was founded on a deathbed promise made by Nancy Brinker to her dying sister and generally awards grants to exceptional local partners. Why does the foundation make an exception for Planned Parenthood? Why award grants to facilities that perform zero mammograms? Planned Parenthood can at most, give mammogram referrals. However, they market this service deceptively as “breast cancer screening.” Not only is Komen providing funds to an organization that cannot give women the care they deserve, but it continues to support an unnecessary and convoluting middle man, making the process of obtaining a mammogram all the more laborious.

If Planned Parenthood were a serious women’s health organization, why wouldn’t CEO Richards reevaluate her organization's priorities and start providing mammograms? Instead of this, Richards threw a temper tantrum and mobilized Planned Parenthood’s legion of pro-abortion followers and donors to paint this decision by Komen as an attack on women’s rights. Planned Parenthood pushed their pro-abortion agenda under the guise of women’s health through deception and media clout. And within days, Komen, like a stressed out parent at the supermarket with a screaming child, gave in and bought the kid a sucker.

The recent videos released by the Center for Medical Progress showing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in fetal body part harvesting and sale further incriminate the organization. According to this series of sting videos, the abortion process is altered in an effort to obtain intact arms, legs, hearts, livers, kidneys, etc. The videos allude to apparent late term, partial birth abortions taking place in order to obtain specific baby parts at a later gestational age. In some cases, tissue from aborted children is taken without the consent of the mother, according to procurement technician, Holly O’Donnell, who also said women coming to Planned Parenthood for pregnancy tests are viewed as “opportunities” to add to the bottom line. This is not women’s health. It is the objectification and commodification of women and unborn children.

With over $800,000 spread around to eleven different Planned Parenthood clinics in 2013, the question begs to be asked: Komen, what are you funding? Set aside the moral questions around abortion, the sale of baby parts, and Planned Parenthood. Why provide grants for mammograms to an entity that provides no mammograms? The majority of Komen’s grants to Planned Parenthood is specified for breast cancer screening, but the most it can do in terms of mammograms is give referrals. There are over 13,000 Federally Qualified Health Clinics and Rural Health Clinics that outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities almost 20-1 that can also provide such referrals, and some of which can actually perform mammograms. All told, there are 8,735 facilities nationwide that are licensed to actually perform mammograms. None of them are Planned Parenthood. Why is the world's largest breast cancer charity tithing at the altar of the abortion giant without measurable evidence that breast cancer is being prevented? Why does Komen insist on funding the Rube Goldberg machine of health care?

In an age of universal health care, thousands of health care options, and smartphones, there appears no reason, other than abortion, for Planned Parenthood to exist.  The antics of this organization have gone on long enough. It's time for Planned Parenthood to get its grubby, blood stained fingers out of tax-payer pockets and away from companies and charitable organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Take Action: 

It's time to defund Planned Parenthood and redirect valuable tax dollars and private funding towards better options for women. Join the movement to #DefundPP today.
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Lauren Fraher

Legal Assistant

Lauren is a paralegal, wife, mother, and advocate for children, both born and unborn.

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