Planned Parenthood Misrepresents Komen Decision for Political Reasons

By Dave Andrusko

Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRL’s Director of Education, has written a very helpful story filled with insight into the decision of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation (“Race for the Cure”) to stop funding Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. (See “Susan G. Komen Drops Support for Planned Parenthood, PPFA Retaliates and Fundraises, Komen responds.”)

Let me add a few additional thoughts.


We have several breast cancer survivors in my immediate and extended family so we were sad not to be able to help the largest advocacy group fighting this scourge. (We found other ways to further this important work.)

There are a number of dimensions to the perfectly defensible decision by Komen and to the perfectly predictable backlash orchestrated by Planned Parenthood and its hordes of media advocates.

In a YouTube video released Wednesday, Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker explained the motivation: “These changes mean that we will be able to do more to help women and advance the fight against breast cancer.  We are working to eliminate duplicative grants, freeing up more dollars for higher impact programs, and wherever possible, we want a grant to the provider that is actually providing the life-saving mammogram.”

That important medical emphasis—“As we move forward, we will implement these new strategies which will allow us to serve even more women”—got lost in the allegation that “politics” has supposedly suddenly been introduced into saving women’s lives.

For example, the New Jersey Star Ledger editorially bemoaned the supposed evaporation of a “sense of unity” that followed Komen’s future redirection of resources; it was now just another “political battleground.” In fact, it was just the opposite. Komen’s decision ought to have the effect of depoliticizing breast health grants.

Evidently by yesterday Komen’s Brinker had had enough. She released a You Tube video explaining the reasoning behind the decision. 

In 2010, Komen initiated a comprehensive review of grants and standards, which, she said, is not unusual.  “We are always looking at our policies and procedures to be sure that we are doing the right thing for our supporters and  the women we serve.” (In other words this change is not something that just sprung up willy nilly.) “We have the highest responsibility to ensure that these donor dollars make the biggest impact possible.”

Moreover she is clearly miffed, using terms like” scurrilous” and “profoundly hurtful” to describe the assaults. Neither PPFA nor its legion of spear carriers are named, but that was unnecessary.

One other important and clarifying point from Brinker’s video. “We are working with our affiliates to ensure there are no gaps in services,” she says. “Contrary to what some are saying, we are not pulling any existing grants.  Current grants are not affected.  As we move forward, we will implement these new strategies which will allow us to serve even more women.”  (See .)

From our single-issue perspective, there are other issues independent of the reasons Komen made its decision.

For example,  as  Dr. O’Bannon points out, contrary to what PPFA says, there is an increased risk of breast cancer for women who have had an induced abortion. So pouring breast health grant money into the coffers of the largest abortion provider in the world is like pouring water into a bucket with a hole in it. Only in this case, the result is not spilt water but more women with breast cancer.

Moreover, PPFA, we need to remember, is a $1 billion corporation with an unearned shiny reputation that most media outlets take every possible occasion to buff.  (The two—tons of money and oodles of adulation–obviously go hand-in-hand.)

What matters is while PPFA President Cecile Richards is not happy to lose the dollars, more important is that Komen’s withdrawal could represent (to switch metaphors) a chink in PPFA’s armor. What happens if other organizations that contribute to PPFA (often out of ignorance) actually look behind the glossy brochures and annual reports that Planned Parenthood grinds out to discover that from 1990 to 2008, U.S. abortions declined by about a quarter (24.6%), from 1,608,600 to 1,212,400 but in those same years, abortions at PPFA increased 129,155 to 324,008, an increase of about 151%

As educated pro-lifers we ASSUME that the public knows that PPFA’s affiliates are pioneering the use of webcam abortions—women inducing their own abortion using chemical abortifacients under the “guidance” of the abortionist who is hundreds of miles away? This is incredibly dangerous and has only one purpose: to insinuate the killing into every nook and cranny in rural America and fatten PPFA’s already hefty bottom line.

Dr. O’Bannon concludes with a reminder that NRLC is praising Komen for its decision. You can go to  and sign a petition encouraging Komen to stand by its decision. You can also e-mail Komen for the Cure at to thank them for stopping funding to Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. 

National Right to Life posted a “photo” on its Facebook page saying, “Stand Up For Life!  THANK YOU Komen for the Cure for defunding Planned Parenthood.”  If you haven’t visited the National Right to Life Facebook page, please do so today at!

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