The Wrath of the Abortion Movement Unleashed on Komen

If you are confused about what is actually happening with the decision of the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure Foundation to change its grant criteria, you are not alone.  The vicious fury of pro-abortion lobby is the real story of the decision of the Komen foundation to detach itself from grants to Planned Parenthood.  

So iconic is the status of Planned Parenthood that, in the wake of this decision, numerous abortion supporters decided to punish Komen.  Senator Barbara Boxer said that she was "reminded of the McCarthy era" and ludicrously complained "are they going to the attack the American Lung Association? The YMCA? The YWCA?"  The American Association of University Women cancelled a yearly college student workshop with Komen.  And the Yale School of Public Health is "reviewing" its decision to have Nancy Brinker, the Komen founder, speak at their Commencement.  Abortion zealot New York Mayor Bloomberg offered $250,000  to Planned Parenthood to replace lost funding.

But Komen did not completely cut Planned Parenthood out of current funding or exclude Planned Parenthood from future funding.  Nor did they reverse the original decision and decide to re-fund Planned Parenthood in the future.  They merely reversed their decision in favor of considering Planned Parenthood's eligibility for future grants.  The Komen foundation is rightfully concerned that Planned Parenthood is the focus of federal and state investigations for financial irregularities, fraud, sex trafficking, failure to comply with laws requiring reporting minor's sexual abuse and parental notification for abortion, as well as substandard medical care.

The extreme liberal backlash is out of proportion to Komen's largely symbolic $600,000 grant to Planned Parenthood. This is a relatively trivial amount when compared to Planned Parenthood's billion dollar budget.  The Komen grant allows Planned Parenthood to pretend that it is an authentic women's health care provider and immunizes the organization from the reality  that the organization is mainly about abortions.  Planned Parenthood provided 332,278 abortions in 2009, about one-quarter of those performed in the USA.  The organization claims that abortion comprises only 3% of their services, but this is statistical manipulation. If a woman shows up for abortion, she can receive a pap smear, STD test, hemoglobin and blood type, all related to the abortion.  Planned Parenthood can claim that they have provided four services in addition to the abortion.  Planned Parenthood is also a major purveyor of birth control pills, a risk factor for breast cancer acknowledged but underestimated on Komen's own web site.

It is logical that The Susan G Komen Foundation would want to partner with high risk groups for breast cancer, which is primarily a disease of older women, to improve the impact of its grants. Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms, although at one point it claimed to do so. Breast cancer is the most common cause of death of women in their 40's and the second most common death of women over 50.  An especially vulnerable group is uninsured women from ages 50-65, before Medicare eligibility.  The main demographic group Planned Parenthood serves is young reproductive age women. But women almost never get breast cancer under the age of thirty, and uncommonly from 30-40, although Susan G. Komen herself, the foundation's namesake and sister of the founder, was diagnosed and died in her thirties. The incidence of breast cancer in younger women has increased, mainly due to lifestyle changes such as later childbearing, hormonal contraception, and induced abortion, although breast cancer can certainly occur without any of these factors.  A recent study on linking the deadliest type of premenopausal breast cancer to the pill is a case in point.

 It has always seemed ironic that Komen would give grants to Planned Parenthood, whose medical practices and promotion of unhealthy life styles are instrumental in the increase in breast cancer that has been evident in past decades.  There are other organizations that have for years told the whole truth about breast cancer risk from hormonal contraception and induced abortion, in addition to enumerating non-controversial risk factors such as family history, obesity, late menopause etc.  The vitriol unleashed on the Komen foundation recalls the fury that descends on those who dare to acknowledge the link between abortion and breast cancer, and the strong incentives for scientists to ignore or cover up research supporting this  relationship. The powerful "reproductive health" establishment and its political, medical and media allies were threatened by a relatively trivial act of the Susan G Komen Foundation to more effectively help women at risk for breast cancer and extract itself from its relationship with Planned Parenthood.  Let us hope that truth emerges from this debacle.

Mary L. Davenport M.D., F.A.C.O.G.  is president of the American Association of Pro-life OBGYNs. The views expressed here are her own.

If you experience technical problems, please write to