In True Anti-Choice Coward Fashion, Komen Now Says Its Decision Was “For the Sake of Women”

VIDEO: Jodi Talks on Democracy Now About Komen’s Break with Planned Parenthood

Watch RH Reality Check Editor-in-Chief Jodi Jacobson on Democracy Now talk with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez about the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to cut-off funding for breast cancer screening programs run by Planned Parenthood.  Jodi joins the conversation at 48:25. 

See all our coverage of the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s break with Planned Parenthood here.

Anti-choicers are predictable.  They have no medical, scientific or public health evidence to support their cause, and they are moral fascists, wanting to control what people believe and how they run their lives.

So, invariably, to justify their “fight,” they fall back on the claim that they are just doing it [“it” meaning denying women access to birth control, safe abortion services, breast and cervical cancer exams, blood pressure checks, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and countless other services] because they care. so. much. about. women.

Apparently, in the face of a tidal wave of criticism about the decision to withdraw funding for breast cancer exams from Planned Parenthood affiliates, the Susan G. Komen Foundation is now doing the same. At, Erin Gloria Ryan reports that as of this afternoon, Komen is out on Facebook denying that its move was “political” because “it is not a political organization,” and that it was motivated by concern for women.

Seriously? And this organization is in charge of literally billions of dollars of cancer research funding?

Ryan writes:

After working tirelessly to delete negative comments from the page for several hours yesterday, the foundation has released a statement insisting that their decision to defund Planned Parenthood wasn’t political, because they’re not a political organization. Bullshit.

Komen’s absolutely a political organization, and one of their most recent political moves was to hire as it’s Vice President of Communications one Karen Handel, a Sarah Palin-endorsed, rabidly anti-choice failed gubernatorial candidate from Georgia. Even though the services that Komen grants support at Planned Parenthood are mammograms for poor women, Handel was vocally in favor of defunding the organization as a candidate. In addition, Komen’s founder Nancy Brinker was a major donor to George W. Bush.

Ryan writes that Komen for the Cure is “in damage control mode now, insisting in the face of evidence to the contrary that their actions are the result of high-minded concern for women and not mythology-based concern for ideology.”

“An update from their Facebook page reads,”

At Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the women we serve are our highest priority in everything we do. Last year, we invested $93 million in community health programs, which included 700,000 mammograms. Additionally, we began an initiative to further strengthen our grants program to be even more outcomes-driven and to allow for even greater investments in programs that directly serve women. We also implemented more stringent eligibility and performance criteria to support these strategies. While it is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a longstanding partner like Planned Parenthood, we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission.

It is critical to underscore that the women we serve in communities remain our priority. We are working directly with Komen Affiliates to ensure there is no interruption or gaps in services for women who need breast health screening and services.

Grant making decisions are not about politics—our priority is and always will be the women we serve. Making this issue political or leveraging it for fundraising purposes would be a disservice to women.

Their priority is with the women they serve?  You mean the low-income African-American, Latina, Asian, white, and Native American women who would otherwise have received early detection at Planned Parenthood clinics?  Who could have saved time, money, and energy getting a breast exam while also attending to other health needs, like blood pressure checks, diabetes checks, contraceptive information and supplies and other things.  They are concerned about these women? 

Comments from under the Susan G. Komen Foundation's latest Facebook status update.

Comments from under the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s latest Facebook status update.

I don’t think so. 

Fanatical anti-choicers are aligned with–indeed part of the fabric of–a movement which is evidence right now in the presidential primary race, a movement based in fear of independent choices and decision-making, hatred for the poor, and hatred especially for women who are poor or who do not want to become mothers right now, or again, or ever.  Anti-choicers and their political supporters in the GOP presidential field are so far distant from facts and evidence and common sense when they take actions such as the one by Komen, they might as well already be living in Newt’s lunar colony.

Thanks, but no thanks, Komen.  We’ll do without your brand of concern.  There is no pinkwashing that.

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  • ahunt

    $50.00 to PP this AM.


  • progo35

    Oh, please. There are many low cost medical clinics that Komen can partner with that women can get medical care from. Komen has defunded PP because it is under investigation  by the government. Moreover, your motivations, Jodi, seems FAR more political then theirs.

  • person-0

    …to which ex-Komen supporters can donate.

    I predict that PP will make more in donations this week than they have in months. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving group! Bravo, Komen!

  • colleen

    This is what happens  to ‘common ground’ efforts. The Republicans  keep the money and fuck over the poor. Every time.

  • veggietart

    The “investigation” of Planned Parenthood is a political ploy by a decades-long enemy of women by the name of Cliff Stearns.  Trust me, I know.  I volunteered for NOW some years ago, creating spreadsheets of congressional votes.  He scored ZERO every time when it came to votes that affected women.  The leadership of SGK is vehemently anti-choice, which makes me glad I never donated to them, save for buying the occasional pink thing that I was going to get anyway.

    If Komen were truly concerned about women’s health, they would never have partnered with KFC to promote “buckets for the cure”.   What were they thinking with that?! Let’s get people to buy foods that promote cancer and donate 50 cents per bucket to an organization that spends a lot on overhead.  By the way, there was also a set donation amount, whether or not those buckets of hacked-up chicken corpses were bought.

    I hope Planned Parenthood makes far more money than they would have gotten from Komen due to the outrage.

  • crowepps

    I don’t like the Authoritarian impulse here.  Sure there are lots of low cost medical clinics to partner with, and which ones are actually available and do good work in a local community is information most likely to be known by the local group running the Race.  A bunch of rich ladies in Texas who are pulling down half a million dollars a year don’t have a clue.  If I were volunteering my free labor to raise part of the $311,855,544 Susan Komen Foundation pulls in annually, I would want to make my own decision about who locally was willing to and would do a good job of breast screenings.

  • jodi-jacobson

    Calling what Cliff Stearns is doing an “investigation” is misleading to say the least.  There is no Inspector General or independent auditor involved; no mandate by a congressional committee, no grand jury indictment or evidence of wrongdoing.  Indeed just the opposite: Federal auditors routinely monitor these funds and have found NO problems.  So your (and my) tax dollars are going to the power-tripping witch hunt of a congressman allied with an agenda of denying women health care.


    Its that simple and that disgusting.



  • wolfwytch

    They’re going to love us to death, is what they’re going to do. Then they can hold us up as evidence of what happens to those dirty sluts who “get what they deserved”, all the while hording hundreds of millions of dollars that could go to, I don’t know, actually paying for research?


    I’ll keep sending PP my money; I think of it as “from one poor girl, to another, with lots of love!” BUt if it helps just one woman get on the pill, or just one women get screened for cervical cancer, then it’s all ok with me. However, SGK will never get another dime from me, not even from a bag of kitty food– I’ll change companies first, and let the kitties complain.


    We have to stand together, else they’ll run over us all.



  • nightshade

    This was posted by a friend of mine on Facebook – my friend does his homework and it’s ugly to say the least, and says volumes about SKG’s actions. 

    “Here’s a little history lesson for everyone posting in surprise/shock/outrage about the Susan G. Komen people caving to conservative pressure & taking away breast cancer screening funds from Planned Parenthood.
    The Susan G. Komen group has ALWAYS been a right wing/Republican front group! It was FOUNDED as such. Their PRIMARY goal has ALWAYS been to advance right wing aims, NOT to help women with breast cancer.

    Short version, back in the 1980s as the first Bush was taking office breast cancer advocacy was becoming a major issue & there were a number of strong groups forming, taking advantage of media & such, who were REALLY pushing for investigation in to research on the CAUSES of breast cancer, in order to foster prevention rather than just treatment. The research they were doing TERRIFIED the oil companies, the chemical companies, and a lot of other industries (the food people, notably) because research was showing that breast cancer’s increasing numbers were CLEARLY tied to environmental triggers like oil-based plastics, chemical contamination in the water supply, hormones in beef, etc.

    The big companies that stood to lose money if people demanded changes to stop this killer said “We HAVE to get the spotlight off the fact that pur products are poisoning people” and they turned to their cronies in the administration. Bush reached out to his friends the Komens (long time personal buddies of the Bush family) and they decided to form a huge LAVISHLY funded (by those industry groups) organization that would get presidential approval so they’d be sure to garner lots of attention & press all while focusing on TREATMENT and a CURE rather than CAUSES. With their “pink ribbon” campaign being pushed by every media outlet & corporation out there they quickly became THE name in breast cancer advocacy & not only chocked off attention & support from groups looking in to causes but in some cases literally BOUGHT OUT those groups & their people.

    This is not to say that the Komen fund doesn’t do any good, they really do contribute a substantial amount to research and of course they bring a ton of attention to the issue, but all the while it’s a huge piece of magician style misdirection of “Look over here at the CURE, and never think about the CAUSE, namely all the crap spewed in to the environment and your food by the companies who fund us.” That’s why the Koman people have always enjoyed the shelter & support of right wing politicians who not only don’t give a rat’s ass about womens’ health & well being but who also usually actively work AGAINST it. And that’s why, knowing where their bread is buttered, they’re caving to pressure from their masters NOW, even tho it means hurting the women they’re supposed to exist to help.

  • progo35

    I can’t help but find this kind of perversely amusing. For years, pro choicers have been saying, in effect: “Oh, you mean, mean pro lifers who don’t care about curing cancer-Susan G. Komen only gives a tiny amount of its total resources to PP and abortion is only a tiny fraction of the services PP provides, don’t be so close minded.” Now that Susan G. Komen isn’t funding PP, you start screaming, “Those EVIL,  disgusting, anti-choice hypocrites! Stop funding them! They don’t care about women! Susan G. Komen is poisonous!” It’s ironic, to say the least.   At least in your case, Ms. Jacobson, you have visciously turned on an organizataion dedicated to fighting breast cancer (And, hence, helping women) because that organization will be sending money to non-PP clinics who provide breast cancer screening instead of your Best Friend Forever, Planned Parenthood. (Many affiliated clinics of which, moreover, DON’T provide mammograms at all: It’s gross. Really. 

  • johann7

    Looks like someone else read Pink Ribbons, Inc.! I was not at all shocked by their move, as I’ve been aware of Komen’s history for a while (and actively avoided Pink-branded products). People should donate directly to service-providers like PP or research grant funds and avoid charities altogether whenever possible.

  • crowepps

    “Three sources told me that the organization’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, resigned in protest immediately following the Komen board’s decision to cut off Planned Parenthood. Williams, who served as the managing director of community health programs, was responsible for directing the distribution of $93 million in annual grants.”


  • progo35

    I also just don’t “get” this vibe of urgency,  acting as if  PP as the only place that women who are financially compromised can ever recieve a low cost/free mammogram. It just isn’t true.

  • jennifer-starr

    No, it’s not the only place, but so far you’ve failed to prove why it should be one less place. 

  • progo35

    Because PP does NOT provide mammograms. Why shouldn’t SGK give its money to providers who provide comprehensive, rather than partial, care?

  • ack

    I think you need to (re) read this:


    When you actually listen to the experiences of women in rural areas, PP is often their only choice. The community health centers and the state run clinics have 6 month waiting periods, because they don’t specialize in reproductive health and are also working with people to perform every physical, every blood test, and every infection/request for antibiotics visit in the region.


    Furthermore, several sources have stated that the new rule was adopted in order to exclude PP from grant funding.



    This is blantantly apparent because the grants to Penn State haven’t been frozen.


  • jennifer-starr

    Sorry,  Progo,  that’s not exactly true–but seeing as the half-truth comes from Lila Rose, that should come as no big surprise. Even if Planned Parenthood gives a patient a referral to a clinic which does a mammogram rather than doing the mammogram on site they directly subsidize that mammogram with Planned Parenthood funds. So yes, they do provide mammograms. 

    So again, I ask–is there any good reason to remove funding from PP? 

  • ack

    If I go to my doctor for a well woman and breast exam, she’s going to have to refer me for a mammogram if one is deemed necessary. The equipment is expensive, and many practicioners refer to specialists. My experience with a private pracitioner is no different than a woman who goes to Planned Parenthood for services.

  • crowepps

    In my small town, it doesn’t matter whether you see a private OB/GYN, or use the sliding fee scales at the community health center or at Planned Parenthood, ALL the mammograms are done at the hospital radiology department and read by the radiologist affiliated with the hospital.  If you qualify for the sliding fee scale of one of the grant programs, your bill from the hospital is reduced and the health center or PP pay part of the cost out of the grant.  They explained that all very carefully when I went for the initial exam, including the fact that I only had a certain amount of time to get the hospital part done, because the grant would end and then would no longer chip in for the hospital.


    Of course, everything depends on the exact details of the particular grant that is covering the particular patient, which often is linked to their income.  It’s pretty complicated.  I would note that SGK spends most of its money on overhead, on professionals ‘selling’ the program to corporations who want to tie their product in, on advertising and the races themselves, and only a small portion goes to actual grants for testing or to actual research.