That doesn’t sound very “pro-life” to me.

I was appalled at the recent pulling of funding from Planned Parenthood for the breast cancer screening of poor women by the Susan G Komen Foundation this Tuesday.

Twenty-six Democratic Senators sent a letter today to the CEO and founder of the Komen Foundation, Nancy Brinker. “It would be tragic if any woman – let alone thousands of women – lost access to these potentially life-saving screenings because of a politically motivated attack. We earnestly hope that you will put women’s health before partisan politics and reconsider this decision for the sake of the women who depend on both your organizations for access to the health care they need.”

Komen Foundation officials claim that the new funding criteria include refusing funds to any organization if that organization is under criminal investigation. This criteria seems spurious at best because anyone could cause any funding to stop simply by initiating an investigation, based in reality or simply political motivation. Empty accusations would be sufficient for the halting of any funding. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? This clearly smacks of bowing to anti-abortion pressures and the influence of Karen Handel, a long time anti-abortion pro lifer who has recently become the vice-president of the Komen Foundation. (Handel just happens to be a favorite of Sarah Palin, by the way, and ran for Governor of Georgia on a strict anti-abortion platform.) What is even more puzzling is that the funds The Komen Foundation has given to Planned Parenthood have all been used solely for cancer screenings, cancer prevention, and education, nothing else, which was already part of Komen’s previous stipulations for the grants.

It is so ironic and painful that the pro-life movement does not get the hypocrisy of their behavior. They would risk the lives of thousands of women by withdrawing these funds for screenings, in the name of an indirect connection to abortion. They would risk the lives of thousands of women who cannot afford cancer screenings, in order to protest an organization that also allows women choice.  That doesn’t sound very “pro-life” to me.

The following is the full text of the letter that was sent by the Senators today:

Dear Ambassador Brinker,

We write to express our disappointment with Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s decision to cut funding for breast cancer prevention, screening, and education at Planned Parenthood health centers. This troubling decision threatens to reduce access to necessary, life-saving services. We urge Komen to reconsider its decision.

Planned Parenthood is a trusted provider of health care for women and men. More than 90 percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood are primary and preventative including wellness exams and cancers screenings that save lives. Each year, Planned Parenthood health clinics provide 750,000 breast exams, 770,000 pap tests and nearly 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases. Twenty percent of all women in the U.S. have visited a Planned Parenthood health center.

For the past five years, grants to local affiliates of Planned Parenthood have been an important part of Planned Parenthood’s work to protect women from breast cancer. Komen funding for Planned Parenthood has provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and resulted in 6,400 referrals for mammograms. In 2011 alone, grants from Komen provided Planned Parenthood with roughly $650,000 in funding for breast cancer prevention, screening, and education. According to a recent statement by Komen, “In some areas of the U.S., our affiliates have determined a Planned Parenthood clinic to be the best or only local place where women can receive breast health care.”

It would be tragic if any woman —let alone thousands of women — lost access to these potentially life-saving screenings because of a politically motivated attack.

We earnestly hope that you will put women’s health before partisan politics and reconsider this decision for the sake of the women who depend on both your organizations for access to the health care they need.

The letter sent today was signed by Sens. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., Patty Murray, D-Was., Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.,  Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Max Baucus, D-Mont., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Al Franken, D-Minn, John Kerry, D-Mass., Claire McCaskill,D-MO., Debbie Stabenow, D-MI., Chris Coons, D-DE., and Jeff Bingaman D-NM.

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10 Responses to That doesn’t sound very “pro-life” to me.

  1. I was so angry about this that I could barely even talk about it. The right-to-lifers are anything but aware of the right to life for women. It is not at all curious that the women who would benefit from the screenings at Planned Parenthood are the ones who must also be deemed expendable in right-wing reactionary politics practiced by the wealthy. I did sign Planned Parenthood’s letter — you can make a donation, too, to help fund screenings.

  2. Mrs. Chili says:

    Komen’s been on my shit list for a while now. They’re not a charitable organization; they’re a marketing firm, plain and simple. Really, read this; Ed says it much better than I could here – http://www.ginandtacos.com/2012/02/02/race-for-the-cure-to-being-relevant/

  3. So called pro-lifers have always valued the life of a fetus over that of a woman. But this is worse, vintictive, disgusting. Thank you.

  4. And, really, really like your blog. (I found you through She-Writes.)

  5. Jerome Bloom says:

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