Friday, February 3, 2012

Why Komen should not fund Planned Parenthood

A few days ago, we learned that Susan G. Komen for the Cure had decided to stop providing grants to Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. Planned Parenthood responded in a classless and threatening fashion, breaking the story to the media, publicly attacking Komen and raising lots and lots of money on the absurd premise that women would die because of Komen's decision. Now Komen has issued a statement that some interpret as a reversal of its new policy (it is not clear that it is).

Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, responds:
Shortly after news broke earlier this week that Komen was withdrawing future grant funding to Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, the abortion giant and its allies began a shrill online campaign to bring Komen to its knees by bullying the organization into submission.

Any decision to provide future grants approved for Planned Parenthood, which boasts a $1.1 billion budget, would be extremely and sadly misguided. Any grants to Planned Parenthood would be detrimental to women and their unborn children. Even in their own press statements, Planned Parenthood states that they refer for mammograms, an indication they don't perform them.

Planned Parenthood is not in the business of fighting breast cancer, they're in the business of performing abortions to the tune of more than 300,000 a year, which accounts for at least one-third of Planned Parenthood's nongovernmental clinic income. In fact, Planned Parenthood has announced that all of their affiliates will be required to perform abortions.

National Right to Life strongly urges Susan G. Komen for the Cure and all cancer research organizations to approve no future funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest chain of abortion clinics. Right-to-life supporters do not want their donations for fighting cancer to go to organizations that perform abortions.
Indeed, Komen should not fund Planned Parenthood, for a variety of reasons. First, though Komen's grants are intended for breast exams and services, money given to Planned Parenthood is fungible and serves to support the other work (the main work) of the nation's leading performer and promoter of abortions. Statistics show that the more money Planned Parenthood receives, the (many) more abortions it performs. To support Planned Parenthood is to support the large-scale (about one-third of a million each year) killing of innocent human beings by abortion. And that, ironically, contradicts the same principle of human dignity that grounds Komen's efforts to help women and end the scourge of breast cancer.

Second, even if Komen's leaders have no qualms about the killing of abortion, it makes little sense to entangle a non-political breast cancer charity with the abortion industry. Many, many people who care deeply about fighting breast cancer cannot in good conscience support Komen if the group supports Planned Parenthood. Abortion advocates say the Komen decision to cut off funds was a "politicizing" of the issue of women's health. On the contrary: Deciding to fund a hyper-political, extremely-controversial abortion business in the first place was a politicizing of Komen's work. Komen needs to get out.

Third, Planned Parenthood doesn't even offer mammograms -- it refers women to other places that do offer mammograms. Does it not make more sense for Komen to focus valuable breast cancer funds on those other providers that offer real breast health services? Nancy Brinker, founder and CEO of Komen, said (in explaining the cut-off decision) that Komen had developed better funding criteria that will prioritize "higher impact programs." She explained: "Wherever possible, we want to grant to the provider that is actually providing the lifesaving mammogram." That rules out Planned Parenthood. To best advance the cause of combating breast cancer, money should be more effectively spent.

Abortion advocates responded as if the Komen decision was a decision to stop funding breast-related health care. No. The Komen decision was to continue spending the same money, but to do it more wisely for the benefit of women.

Fourth, Planned Parenthood, a billion-dollar "non-profit," cannot be said to "need" any funding. One would not know it from the ridiculously over-the-top reactions to the defunding, but Komen gave the group less than $700,000 per year to pay for about 4 percent of Planned Parenthood's (non-mammogram) breast exams. Planned Parenthood made up that lost money in about a day of fundraising. And even if it did lack funds for breast exams and referrals, it could simply rearrange its priorities; for instance, it could have a less-obsessive focus on providing and promoting elective abortion.

Finally, what does Planned Parenthood's response to the Komen decision reveal about the abortion industry leader? Planned Parenthood apparently feels entitled to a private charity's money. When that charity decided to stop giving, Planned Parenthood, rather than being grateful for all it had been given, chose to insult and attack. What other recipient of grant money behaves like that? James Taranto puts it this way:
Planned Parenthood's bitter campaign against Komen ... is analogous to a protection racket: Nice charity you've got there. It'd be a shame if anything happened to it. The message to other Planned Parenthood donors is that if they don't play nice and keep coughing up the cash, they'll get the Komen treatment. ... Thus smart prospective donors -- especially ones that are apolitical, like Komen -- are getting the message that supporting Planned Parenthood is a trap. Give once, and you will give again -- or else you will pay.
Many abortion advocates called Komen names, assaulted its leaders' character, and urged a boycott. Some even hacked the Komen website. And sadly, U.S. Sens. from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken both joined the call for Komen to reinstate funding of Planned Parenthood.

Daniel Foster at National Review Online writes:
Look, the beauty of free speech is that, if you're inclined to do so, you can write a check to PP in an act of solidarity, or write a check to Komen as an expression of moral approval. That's all fine. But there's something quite a bit different, something creepy and not a little despicable, about the Planned Parenthood set's besmirching Komen's good name across a thousand platforms for having the audacity to stop giving them free money. And I don't care why that decision was made, frankly. If it was made because PP is controversial and under congressional "investigation," that's a perfectly valid reason for an organization to disentangle itself. If it was made because they judged that money would have a greater impact if directed toward the provision of actual mammograms and not just clinical screenings, that makes sense. And if the decision was made because a controlling faction at Komen feels a moral disgust toward the dismemberment of viable fetuses and would rather not subsidize an outfit that does that 300,000 times a year -- well that's fine, too. None of those rationales justifies the outrageous non-sequiturs about how Komen "hates poor women."

Imagine I volunteered to run a cub scout troop, and for years, when the annual soapbox derby came near, I knew I could count on Joe's Deli as good for a hundred dollar donation. If one year Old Man Joe decided he didn't want to donate any more -- because he didn't like the design of our racer, or because he thought his hundred bucks was better spent on a little league team, or because he disapproved of the scouts' stance on gays -- what on earth would justify me going on public access TV to grill Old Man Joe on why he hates kids? What would justify me hacking the Joe's Deli web site or maliciously editing Old Man Joe's Wikipedia page? What would justify me goading a handful of my city councilmen into standing up at the next town meeting and publicly calling on Old Man Joe to reinstate his donation?

Nothing. Nothing would justify that. Nothing at all.
The Komen decision was hardly a financial blow to Planned Parenthood. So why the excessive, outrageous, character-revealing response? "Komen's decision [was] an important symbolic blow to Planned Parenthood, which likes to say its mission is about more than performing abortions and providing contraception," notes the Weekly Standard's John McCormack. "Planned Parenthood has tried to diversify its portfolio so it isn't publicly identified and isolated as simply the biggest part of the abortion industry. [Without the Komen grants,] Planned Parenthood [would] no longer be able to rely on the Komen foundation to help it pretend it is something that it is not."

A decision by a mainstream charity to steer clear of Planned Parenthood could reinforce a (correct) perception of Planned Parenthood as a controversial mega-abortion business. The mega-abortion business doesn't want that. (Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are at stake.) So Planned Planned turns the tables, viciously tearing down its former partner and pounding a false narrative about the "politicization" of women's health and the "lifesaving work" of Planned Parenthood clinics.

No one should be fooled.

You can contact Komen at to politely urge the breast cancer charity to not provide any future grants to Planned Parenthood.