Susan G. Komen, one of the largest breast cancer charities in the U.S., has cut ties with Planned Parenthood.
Pro-life and family groups are celebrating the move. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins commented, "We applaud Susan G. Komen for the Cure for putting women's health first rather than fund the nation's largest abortion provider. For too long many people of good will gave money to this foundation to help stop the scourge of breast cancer, not realizing that their money was going to help subsidize the nation's largest abortion provider.
"Susan G. Komen's decision to stop funding the abortion industry is good news for women seeking help dealing with breast cancer. This is also good news for the lives of many unborn babies."
Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest also applauded the move, saying the foundation's decision means donor-supported resources will go toward efforts "designed to truly advance women's health with life-saving research."
"As a breast cancer survivor, I applaud the decision made by the Komen Foundation to discontinue their partnership with the billion-dollar, abortion mega-provider, Planned Parenthood," Yoest added. "The work of the Komen Foundation has life-saving potential and should not be intertwined with an industry dealing in death. When I learned that the foundation was using donated funds to support abortion providers, I stopped running in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. In the future, I'll be racing with them to support this courageous decision."
The Komen decision is in part, due to AUL's release of an exposè called The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood. Because of that report, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) launched an investigation to see if the abortion provider was using public money improperly in providing abortions.
Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun told The Associated Press that the organization has newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities.
In the last few weeks, the Komen Foundation had begun notifying local Planned Parenthood programs that their breast cancer initiatives would not be eligible for new grants (beyond existing agreements or plans). Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before.
The Komen Foundation's leadership did not respond to Planned Parenthood requests to meet with the Komen Board of Directors about the decision.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a release statement that it was disappointed in the "decision to stop funding breast cancer prevention, screenings and education at Planned Parenthood health centers."
"Anti-choice groups in America have repeatedly threatened the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood to provide these lifesaving cancer screenings and news articles suggest that the Komen Foundation ultimately succumbed to these pressures."
In light of the cut funding, Planned Parenthood has launched a Breast Health Emergency Fund through a donation of $250,000 from Amy and Lee Fikes' foundation. The fund will go toward 19 local Planned Parenthood programs that are losing Komen funding.
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, wants Komen to reconsider its policy.
The move comes a month after LifeWay Christian Resources decided to pull pink breast cancer awareness Bibles off the shelves of major retailers. For every pink Bible purchased, one dollar went to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
But after discovering that there was overwhelming concern over Komen's affiliates giving funds to Planned Parenthood, LifeWay realized it was a mistake and chose to stop the sale.
Upon hearing the news of Komen's decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood, Thom S. Rainer, president of Lifeway Christian Resources, stated, "We are very grateful Susan G. Komen for the Cure will no longer fund Planned Parenthood affiliates. As the husband of a breast cancer survivor, I am appreciative of Komen's legacy of fighting the ravages of breast cancer and am confident they will continue to do so."