Planned ParenthoodAccording to MSNBC (and many other sources), "In a reversal of Susan G. Komen For the Cure's funding cuts to Planned Parenthood, the founder and CEO of the nation's largest breast-cancer advocacy agency said Friday that the group would amend the criteria that sparked a firestorm."

Despite what Komen is saying, their original decision was part of a concerted effort to destroy Planned Parenthood. According to Newsday:

Komen has explained that the defunding decision was due to the foundation's recently enacted policy to not fund organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. That would disqualify Planned Parenthood, which is the subject of a congressional inquiry begun in September by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., to determine whether it has used federal money to fund abortions, which is forbidden by law.

What isn't clear from this article is that Komen made its decision in December—after Stearns' inquiry had started. So they knew exactly what they were doing.

And they know what they're doing now. They've reversed themselves because of the huge backlash against them that was going to hurt donations to this primarily conservative, and clearly evil, group.

This can't be said often enough: despite all their platitudes to the contrary, these people hate women—especially young and powerful women. Depriving them of healthcare is just a way of killing them by subtler means than death camps and marches. Kill you daughters![1]

Update

Ezra Klein has an excellent article about Komen's turn around. He writes, in part:

Originally, Komen said Planned Parenthood was ineligible for grants because they were under congressional investigation. But they quickly abandoned that claim and moved to a more apolitical explanation: Planned Parenthood doesnít directly provide mammography. "We have decided not to fund, wherever possible, pass-through grants," said Nancy Brinker, president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. "We were giving them money, they were sending women out for mammograms."

...

If Komen had initially argued that they would no longer fund organizations that didnít directly provide mammograms, they would, perhaps, have had an easier time explaining their decision. Of course, that might have meant defunding a much larger swath of organizations. It also would have meant changing their recommendations to women.

...

The likelier explanation, as Kate Sheppard has persuasively argued, is that the shifting rationales behind Komenís decision imply that the decision to defund Planned Parenthood was based on either political or ideological considerations regarding abortion. But because many of Komenís funders are pro-choice, it couldnít be described that way. Hence the hunt for alternative justifications, and the eventual apology and putative reversal.

The core of Kate Sheppard's argument is the following list:

  • Anti-abortion groups leading the campaign against Komen's Planned Parenthood funding may have been tipped off to the decision well before it was public.

  • The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg reported that the decision was about abortion and that Handel was involved. The story has not been corrected or retracted.

  • Komen did not cancel a grant to Pennsylvania State University despite the university being the target of a federal investigation, which was the original reason Komen cited for ending the Planned Parenthood grant.

  • Anti-abortion groups are also declaring victory in their parallel attempts to pressure Komen on embryonic stem cell research, another hot-button issue. Anti-abortion groups have targeted Komen for providing funding to any medical institution that also conducts that type of research (even if Komen isn't directly funding it). A few weeks ago, Texas Right to Life flagged a Komen press release from late November explicitly stating that they don't support research that involves "destroying a human embryo" and have never funded that type of research. Both Life News and the National Catholic Register noted the Komen release on Wednesday evening, and Life News reported further that Komen appears to have also ended grants to institutions that conducts embryonic stem cell research. The link to the press release on the Komen site is dead now, and the press release is no longer posted in their media section. The organization did not respond immediately to a request for comment on whether they've changed their policy on this topic as well.



[1] Here's Lou Reed, writing about how the good people tried to help him with electroshock therapy in the song Kill Your Sons:

All your two-bit psychiatrists
are giving you electroshock
They said, they'd let you live at home with mom and dad
instead of mental hospitals
But every time you tried to read a book
you couldn't get to page 17
'Cause you forgot where you were
so you couldn't even read

Don't you know they're gonna kill your sons

Here's the song: