Many Still Upset at Komen (Angela Holbrook)

Despite reinstating its annual grant to the Planned Parenthood foundation, many Americans are still livid that the Susan G. Komen organization cut funding in the first place.

On January 31, 2012, Komen cut its funding to Planned Parenthood, stating that its company policy would not let it fund any organization under federal investigation (Planned Parenthood is currently undergoing a routine investigation by Florida representative Cliff Stearns). Once it was discovered that funding to Penn State’s research department—despite the ongoing investigation surrounding the Sandusky affair—had not been cut, many cried that the cuts were politically motivated.

“When will people realize that Planned Parenthood is not a baby killing factory?!” raged Katie Schweizer upon hearing the news. “Their programs are often the only way lower-income women can get the health services they need, such as cancer screening, birth control, and STD testing!”

Numerous conservative, religious, and anti-abortion groups applauded this move by Komen, but many others cried foul. More than $400,000 from approximately 6000 donors was gifted to Planned Parenthood in the first 24 hours after the decision was announced.

Many safe sex and women’s advocacy groups pulled their support to Komen in the aftermath, leading the Susan G. Komen Board of Directors to reinstate Planned Parenthood’s funding on February 3, only four days after the original decision was announced. Komen also released a public apology to America for the cut and promised to amend criteria for cutting investigations to involve only investigations of a criminal nature.

Many blame Senior Vice President Karen Handel for the funding cuts. During her 2010 run for the position, Handel publically stated, “I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood,” and announced her plans to eliminate all fundings for the breast and cervical cancer screenings Planned Parenthood provides.

Despite the days that have passed, the waters have yet to calm.

“I don’t care about their apology,” insists Schweizer. “I am ashamed of and saddened by [Komen’s] spineless behavior. I’m actually starting to believe the conspiracy theorists saying that the government hates and is out to get women. It seems to be true.”

“I don’t believe a word of that apology,” says Tristan Wheeler. “They were just trying to cover their own behinds and get their funding back. If they truly believed that, they wouldn’t have cut funding to begin with!”

The future of Komen is unknown, as their reputation may be permanently tarnished following this scandal. Online bloggers across the Internet have already voiced their opinions and have called for a boycott of Komen support, citing the fact that there are a multitude of other cancer-support organizations that also support medical services for the poor.

“Komen will never recover fully,” Celina Kon believes. “Their soiled underbelly has been exposed, and it ain’t pretty. Not only will they be forever linked to this debacle, but their finances will be more fully scrutinized by those suckered into buying pink M&M’s for the ‘cure’.”

Handel resigned from Komen on February 7, 2012 for reasons unknown, although most speculate it was a direct result from the pressure the scandal produced.

It is speculated that controversies like this are just the beginning of what is to come throughout this election year. After President Barack Obama’s decision to keep Plan B off of drugstore shelves, the pressure on both him and Republican candidates between the pro-life and pro-choice spectrums is expected to rise. Although Komen hoped their retraction would relieve the tension, it seems likely that pressure from both sides will only continue to grow as November nears.


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