Our Unending Abortion War: A Selective History of Komen Foundation Funding of Planned Parenthood:
The first mention the Rude Pundit can find about the Susan G. Komen Foundation giving money to Planned Parenthood is back in June 1996 after $35,000 was raised from the organization's first Albany Race for the Cure: "A $10,000 grant was awarded to Bellevue Hospital in Niskayuna, Samaritan Hospital in Troy, the Albany County Health Department and Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood to encourage cooperation among breast health service providers." Oddly, there was no rage or protest reported in the Times-Union newspaper because, well, that would be dumb.
Even if you are viscerally anti-choice, wanting to defund Planned Parenthood for performing abortions is like wanting to defund the entire military because of waterboarding. And it's ultimately, obviously self-defeating: if your goal is to reduce the number of abortions, then you want Planned Parenthood operational and fully-funded because, see, Planned Parenthood has prevented more abortions than every anti-choice group ever.
But that hasn't stopped the yawping chimps of the right from doing a chest-thump of victory over the Susan G. Komen Foundation cutting off its funding for Planned Parenthood. Komen had seemingly overcome its origins as an organization of wealthy, Republican women and became a force in research, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer, and it had been giving grants on the national level to Planned Parenthood directly for the last five years. By its own June 2011 document, "During the past five years, Komen Affiliate grants to Planned Parenthood have paid for the following: Breast cancer and breast health education for nearly 160,000 women, 139,000 clinical breast exams, 4,866 mammograms, detection of 177 breast cancers."
But because that occurred through an organization that also provides abortion services, it is evil breast cancer detection.
Apparently, these ungodly breast exams have been going for at least a decade and a half. For a long time, Komen donated money through its local affiliates to local Planned Parenthood offices. In Lubbock, Texas, in 1999, according to Texas Monthly from October of that year, "The Komen Lubbock Affiliate channels its funds raised by the Komen Race for the Cure and other programs to an especially innovative trio of outreach groups that serve disadvantaged and minority women. In collective efforts, the South Plains Food Bank, Planned Parenthood Association of Lubbock, and YWCA of Lubbock provide breast cancer education to minority women over 40, offer interactive training classes on nutrition as it relates to cancer, and screens and pays for mammograms for women aged 40 to 50." In September 2000, the Salt Lake City Komen affiliate gave a grant to Planned Parenthood of Utah. According to the October 15, 2000 Palm Beach Post, the South Florida Komen affiliate awarded a $32,000 grant to Planned Parenthood of the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast Area "to teach middle and high school age teens about the disease." Wyoming, Arkansas, Oklahoma, in red states all around the nation, Planned Parenthood received Komen grants in order to help poor women get breast exams or to educate them.
It wasn't until around 2002 (as far as the Rude Pundit can tell by using the Nexis machine) that a small bunch of anti-choice nutzoids started squawking about Komen funding of Planned Parenthood. A St. Louis group, charmingly named, "Defenders of the Unborn," called for a boycott of that year's Race for the Cure, the huge national event put on by the Komen Foundation. As an editorial in the June 21, 2002 St. Louis Dispatch concluded, "Breast cancer is a national epidemic. Supporting survivors and their families, and funding research for a cure, is a wonderful reason for this positive community event. No doubt the thousands marching in the streets of downtown tomorrow will not allow it to be hijacked by fear-mongers in the abortion wars."
Yeah, but they just had to wait for a decade to win.
Next week: What does Ronald McDonald have to do with this?