For the past five years, breast cancer awareness charity group Susan G. Komen for the Cure has given a financial grant to Planned Parenthood. Such funds go toward mammograms, breast exams and education and treatment of breast cancer for women who cannot afford treatment in a doctor’s office.
Thus far, 170,000 breast exams and 6,400 mammograms have been performed thanks to the contributions. On Tuesday, the charity announced it would not renew its grant with Planned Parenthood, citing the recent investigation about how the program utilizes its federal funding is not something the charity wants to be associated with. However, many see a potential ulterior motive to its giving freeze.
Last April, Karen Handel was selected as the new Senior Vice President of Public Policy for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This came shortly after a failed attempt to run as the Republican Party nomination for Georgia’s governor. During her short campaign, she made such statements as, “First, let me be clear, since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.” Observers to this situation hypothesized Handel halted the donations because she opposes Planned Parenthood.
Hundreds of people wrote to the charity group via Twitter and Facebook, openly criticizing its decision. The organization’s website was even hacked late Tuesday night, when a banner’s words were changed from “Help us get 26.2 or 13.1 miles closer to a world without breast cancer,” to “Help us run over poor women on our way to the bank.”
On Wednesday, Feb. 2, Planned Parenthood received approximately $400,000 in random donations instead of the typical daily intake of $100 to $200.
The united voice of displeasure was not ignored. Last Thursday, Susan G. Komen for the Cure stated it would return to monetarily contributing to Planned Parenthood. Handel resigned from her position on the morning of Feb. 7 with a letter alluding to the fact she left solely because she did not wish to support Planned Parenthood in any form.