WASHINGTON (BP) -- Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's leading breast cancer organization, will no longer give money to affiliates of Planned Parenthood, America's No. 1 abortion practitioner.
Pro-life advocates, who had urged Komen to take such action for years, applauded the news, which was reported Jan. 31 by the Associated Press. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) confirmed the report in a release the same day.
'When I learned that the foundation was using donated funds to support abortion providers, I stopped running in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. In the future, I'll be racing with them to support this courageous decision.
-- Charmaine Yoest
The report of Komen's action came about six weeks after LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention pulled from Walmart and other stores copies of a special pink-covered Bible that partially benefited the cancer charity. After learning of Komen's decision, Thom Rainer, LifeWay's president, told Baptist Press Feb. 1 "that reconsidering our relationship with Komen is certainly on the table." LifeWay, however, has not communicated with Komen since hearing the news the day before, he said.
Komen's decision appears to be an important -- though largely symbolic -- one in what is an ongoing effort by pro-lifers inside and outside Congress to publicize Planned Parenthood's abortion business and reduce public funding for the organization. It would not appear to inflict much financial damage on PPFA and its affiliates, which received $487.4 million in government grants, contracts and reimbursements alone in 2009-10, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
Komen affiliates gave about $680,000 to Planned Parenthood affiliates last year, according to PPFA, AP reported. An analysis last year by American Life League found 18 of about 120 Komen affiliates had made grants totaling nearly $630,000 in grants to Planned Parenthood centers in the 2009-10 fiscal year.
Its grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates were not for abortions but for breast screenings and breast health education, according to Komen. Planned Parenthood, however, does not offer mammograms, though Komen said grants to the organization may pay for mammograms at other sites.
As the country's leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood reported its clinics performed 329,445 abortions in 2010. That was more than one-fourth of the lethal procedures in the United States for the year.
Planned Parenthood's abortion business makes it an unworthy recipient for funds to prevent breast cancer, pro-lifers have told Komen for years. Increasingly, pro-lifers withheld support from the foundation and refused to participate in its popular five-kilometer, fund-raising runs/walks that draw more than 1.6 million participants yearly.
When Komen's reversal of a long-held position was revealed, pro-lifers hailed it.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said he is "delighted [Komen] decided to sever its financial relationship with Planned Parenthood. As my mother used to say, 'Sometimes you're known as much by your friends as you are by your enemies.' And keeping company with Planned Parenthood is not good for one's reputation." Read More