Monday, February 6, 2012

Susan G. Komen Bows to Controversy with Planned Parenthood

Last Tuesday, it was announced the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the United States, pulled funding from Planned Parenthood. People were outraged; many felt that it was the charity bowing under the political pressure associated with abortion that caused the retraction. A Republican congressman had questioned whether it was appropriate for public money to be put towards abortion, putting the Susan G. Komen foundation into hot water. What the organization failed to realize was that while they only donate approximately $700,000 a year to Planned Parenthood, they donated $7.5 million in research funding to the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, which is affiliated with Penn State University, the same university that is in the midst of the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal.

Days after the news broke, the CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure released this statement:

"Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair."

While it is great news that Komen reinstated funding to Planned Parenthood, the damage is done. Instead of staying mum for most of the week, the organization should have been the first to announce their decision. A decision that was made in December. While it would cause major outrage, it wouldn't be as bad as it is now. The attention could have been focused back to where the other $92.3 million the Susan G. Komen Foundation gave out went.

While the Susan G. Komen Foundation was previously neutral in its political stance, allowing either side to donate, it is now clear which side they are on, and people will make the choice too.

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