Susan G. Komen Clarifies New Position on Eligibility for Grantees, including Planned Parenthood

By Dave Andrusko

Komen CEO Susan Brinker

In a carefully worded statement, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation today responded to what it characterized yesterday as a “mischaracterization” of its new eligibility and performance criteria with an appeal that everyone involved “pause” and “slow down.” The reference was to the tidal wave of criticism generated by Planned Parenthood, its allies, and a compliant media.

Founder and CEO Nancy Brinker began by apologizing for “recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.” She categorically denied “the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.”

Brinker further clarified that “Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.”

Brinker then reaffirmed what was lost in the furor yesterday: that no 2012 grants were being cut off. “We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.”

No doubt because the hysteria focused entirely on the question of investigations and eligibility, Brinker’s statement did not talk about how the change addresses the referral issue, efficiency, and duplication of services.

Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms; they do breast screenings and referrals. Brinker told numerous reporters yesterday that Komen had “decided not to fund, wherever possible, pass-through grants.”  For example, she told the Washington Post, “We were giving [Planned Parenthood] money, they were sending women out for mammograms. What we would like to have are clinics where we can directly fund mammograms.”

In a YouTube video released Wednesday, Brinker explained that “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.”

Brinker, in effect, is arguing that Komen is a non-combatant in the battle over abortion. Pro-lifers would ask the Foundation to realize that funneling money through the largest abortion provider in the world is not a neutral act.

As Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon explains in “Answering Deceptive Arguments Made by Planned Parenthood,” even as PPFA was orchestrating the offensive against Komen, it took time to reinforce myths in the guise of debunking myths!

For example, that “Planned Parenthood’s abortion care represents 3 percent of its medical services — 332,000 terminations out of a total of 11.4 million services provided in 2009,” according to Clare Coleman who headed a Planned Parenthood network in New York’s Hudson Valley, writing in the Washington Post. As Dr. O’Bannon has explained innumerable times, this is a bookkeeping trick which vastly underplays the extent to which abortion is key to PPFA’s activities and bottom line.

To be specific:

·    PPFA performs just under 330,000 abortions a year—more than a quarter of all abortions performed in the United States.

·    No fewer than one in eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic receiving services has an abortion. Abortion is integral to what PPFA does.

·    At going rates  the 329,445 abortions performed at Planned Parenthood in 2010 would account for $148.6 million in revenue. This would represent 46.4% of what Planned Parenthood has identified as the $320.11 million in “Non-government Health Center Revenues” for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010.

·    According to Planned Parenthood, “Government Health Services and Reimbursements” in fiscal 2010 totaled $487.4 million — making taxpayers responsible for nearly half (46%) of Planned Parenthood total revenue for that year!

As National Right to Life said in the conclusion to its press statement today, “Right-to-life supporters do not want their donations for fighting cancer to go to organizations that perform abortions.”

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