Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood
By Carol Tobias
According to the Centers for Disease Control, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, aside from non-melanoma skin cancer. In 2007, the most recent year numbers are available, 202,964 American women were diagnosed with breast cancer — and 40,598 women died from it.
Almost everyone in America knows a woman who has had breast cancer. Some of those beloved friends and family members may have died from it. So when an organization like Susan G. Komen for the Cure conducts fundraising projects for research, it’s difficult to say no. We’re encouraged to help by buying a certain brand of yogurt or a certain soft drink. Pink ribbons pop up on products everywhere. We can buy items we would normally buy and feel good about helping find a cure.
So if Komen’s mission is to find a cure for breast cancer, why are they giving huge sums of money to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider? According to its Form 990, Komen affiliates gave more than $550,000 to affiliates of Planned Parenthood in 2010. A year earlier, they donated over $731,000. Komen says the grants are used to fund breast exams and mammograms. However, numerous reports confirm that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms. What Planned Parenthood does do is abortion.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has carefully crafted a public image as a protector of women’s health. PPFA is also the largest abortion chain in America. It is fully in the abortion business and its bottom line depends on performing more and more abortions.
According to PPFA’s 2008-2009 Annual Report, its affiliates performed 332,278 abortions in 2009 — about 27.4% of all abortions performed in the United States. That’s more than double the number that its affiliates performed in 1990, even as the total number of abortions performed in the U.S. dropped 25% during that period.
Planned Parenthood misleadingly claims that abortion represents only three percent of its services. But in order to make abortion seem like a small part of what it does, Planned Parenthood lists every “service” it does equally. If a woman comes in for an abortion, she may also receive a pregnancy test, an Rh-type test, an ultrasound, an antibiotic, a pack of birth control pills, and “other tests as needed.” So, statistically, the abortion is dwarfed by the five or six other services provided, even though the abortion is the reason the woman came to Planned Parenthood.
In fact, 12% of its clients receive abortion services, according to a February 2011 Planned Parenthood factsheet. Therefore, nearly one out of every eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic has an abortion. Of the services Planned Parenthood reported that would have involved pregnant women (abortion, prenatal care, adoption referrals), 97.6% were for abortion.
Planned Parenthood often argues that increased funding will enable it to reduce the number of abortions, but its own annual reports don’t seem to show that. It has an annual income of more than $1 billion. Roughly a third of that comes from federal, state and local governments. Its government funding has increased steadily over the past several years, more than doubling since 1998. But abortions done at Planned Parenthood have not gone down. In fact, they have increased dramatically during that same period, rising at a rate that very nearly matches the rate of those funding increases.
Revenue Planned Parenthood receives in “Government Grants and Contracts” has gone from $165 million in 1998 to $363.3 million in the organization’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. During the same time, and at roughly the same rate, abortions have more than doubled at Planned Parenthood — from 165,509 in 1998 to 332,278 in 2009.
Considering all the money that Planned Parenthood takes in, why in the world would Komen divert money that could be put toward breast cancer research to this abortion behemoth? Federal government grants to PPFA are, by law, not allowed to pay for abortion per se, but the money is certainly used to build infrastructure and promote the organization. Komen, too, says the funds it gives PPFA are not used for abortion, but it helps to bring new clients through the door.
Komen’s support of the nation’s largest abortion provider is ironic in that, while Komen works to find a cure for breast cancer, Planned Parenthood is providing a “service” that contributes to the increase of breast cancer. There is a substantial body of evidence to show that getting an abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. Joel Brind, Ph.D., one of the foremost researchers to make the abortion-breast-cancer link, estimates that upwards of 10,000 cases of breast cancer each year are attributable to induced abortion.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure has created the public image of an organization doing good. Unfortunately, when you think Komen, you have to also think Planned Parenthood; and when you think Planned Parenthood, you have to think abortion.
Editor’s note. This appears in the October issue of Legatus magazine and is reprinted with permission.
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