Melissa Etheridge: Komen decision would have cost lives
February 3rd, 2012
03:16 PM ET

Melissa Etheridge: Komen decision would have cost lives

The Susan G. Komen Foundation has reversed its decision to cut off funding for some of its projects with Planned Parenthood, a move that undoubtedly has lifted the spirits of Melissa Etheridge.

The singer was just one of many who reacted strongly to the news that Komen, a non-profit that’s raised millions to fight breast cancer, had decided to withdraw funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood locations.

Etheridge, a breast cancer survivor herself, said the decision would cost lives, especially among poor women who rely on Planned Parenthood to pay for breast cancer screening.

Komen said Tuesday that it was dropping funding for Planned Parenthood because the group is the subject of an investigation launched by a Republican member of Congress. Critics say Komen simply bowed to pressure from right wing groups who fiercely oppose PP because it also provides abortion services.

Actress Sandra Bernhard and author Judy Blume are among those criticizing Komen via Twitter. Blume Tweeted, “Susan Komen would not give in to bullies or to fear. Too bad the foundation bearing her name did.”

But on Friday, a chastened Komen backtracked.

"We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives," the organization said in a statement. "We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities."

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Paulina

    Dan Henry – I love lake side wedding. The ppagotrohher has got a wonderful opportunity and has been very well utilized. The Pictures are very much clear and spontaneous. A great job!

    April 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TonyXL

    Well, not babies' lives, but whatever.

    February 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Wendy McCoole

    PLEASE DON'T DISCARD YOUR PINK RIBBONS! There are well over 500 NPOs doing very important work to help breast cancer patients. Let's look to see how we can bring comfort to those patients... many of whom are right in our own back yards. Research is vital ... emotional support is just as important. Look at to see how we help our local patients. You can do that too in your own neighborhoods. Please don't give up on the "cause" ... take a moment to learn more about the local non-profit organizations who are doing good work in your own community and find out how you can support their efforts.

    February 5, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Diana

      Avon Walk for Breast Cancer gives a larger piece of their overall financial returns to research than Komen does. You can support them and the American Cancer Society and not have to worry about what political agenda Komen is pandering to. Side story: Komen didn't cut its grant to Penn State even thought they are under criminal investigation for real crimes, not just because some Florida legislator wanted to take them down, which is why PP is under investigation.

      February 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. original nunya

    doesnt anyone who isnt smart realise that abortion prevents over population in this country? there are thousands of kids living in foster care or group homes because their parents couldnt take care of them..what kind of quality of life ae these kids gonna have?

    February 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. @Sokman

    It's a huge deal to women. The republicans are investigating PP, because they perform abortion services, which I might add, only amounts to 3% of their services. They will do anything to try to limit women's right to choice. By investigating them, PP policy is not to fund those being investigated. This really affects next year's funding. For all the women who can't afford insurance, this is their doctor. Physicals, breast cancer screening, general health care. Without PP, these women would have no health care at all. For the Komen Foundation to pull their funding is hypocritical. These women would not have the preventative care to detect breast cancer, which is what they preach. This was purely political. One of the Komen top officials, was a conservative that ran for office (if I remember correctly Governor). Ran on a anti abortion platform. The backlash from women all over the country (& some men, I would assume) made them back down. People were mad & said they wouldn't send donations to Komen anymore. They caved to save their own butts. PP provides women who have no insurance health care. They have saved hundreds of thousands lives. The republicans don't understand this fact, because the have excellent health care, & if they get sick, they have the money to pay the bills. Every time they talk their crap, I want to say, live on my salary for one year, and then you tell me all about it. They are clueless when it comes to the middle class.

    February 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • keg38

      I agree, very hypocritical all around the board. PP saved thousands of lives because of the funds given to them by Komen. They relied on Komen for funds obviously or there wouldn't have been such an uproar. Yes, they got an outpour of money after this went public, but people also have to remember that the funds have to keep coming in. How long would that last? Not long, because the story will get stale and the funds will dry out. That's the danger of the whole situation. So Komen did the right thing. Regardless of the "real" reasoning behind the whole story, people are now aware of who and what these 2 organizations are all about. It's not about abortions, it's not about how to raise children, it's not about birth control. It's about breast health, which is the mutual agreement of the grant between the 2 organizations.

      February 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. heretic

    Planned parenthood saves womens lives by providing healthcare to low income families. It also provides ways and means on how to terminate a baby inside a mother's womb aka abortion.

    Some would argue that it is not a baby, does not have a life form at all blah blah blah. Does an expectant mother says I have a fetus inside ? or does she says i have a baby inside me ? hmmp

    Planned parenthood's main job is saving lives and side job is killing babies.

    February 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sokman

    These people say the Koman Foundation caved in to bullying. Isnt that essentially what they're trying to do? Bully the foundation into giving PP more money?

    February 4, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • keg38

      Sokman – yes. That's exactly what they did. But either way you look at it now, the negative reaction the Komen Foundation was getting was well on it's way to destroying many lives. The main focus was lost in this battle between the two foundations. Komen, I believe, had no choice but to save the integrity of their organization. Both organizations share the same goals (when it comes to women's health). When you throw politics into the mix, wow it can get really ugly.

      February 4, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sokman

    I dont understand the big deal. The Komen foundation said it will no longer offer support to anyone who is under investigation by federal, state, or local authorities right? Its my understanding PP is being looked into for misuse of funds. Could it lead to less women being able to get help detecting or dealing with breast cancer, probably. But if PP had used the money for its inteded purposes this wouldnt be an issue. The blame lies with PP, not Komen Foundation

    February 4, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. carrieanne

    Not a feminazi, I just dont think that men should be making rules about health issues for women that they arent physically affected by as well. And vice versa.

    February 4, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. carrieanne

    I just have a problem with anyone telling anyone else what they can or cant do with their body. If youre willing to adopt all these unwanted babies, fine. Do it! But dont eliminate an option just because you dont like it. And oh yeah! All you men keep your mouths shut! No uterus, no opinion.

    February 4, 2012 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • jb2817

      Spoken like a true feminazi Don't hate us because we can pee standing up Carrieann

      February 4, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sly Sadie

    @carrieanne- Well said!

    February 4, 2012 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. carrieanne

    I am very much pro-choice. I dont think I could ever have an abortion but Im not going to tell someone else they cant. There is only one person on here who seems to understand that PP provides women's health services that many women would otherwise never get because of the cost. And all you holier than thou pro-lifers, get your heads out of your asses and worry about how youre going to raise that 13th baby you just had because youre too stupid to keep your knees together or your pants zipped!

    February 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ?

    Pro life = Pro incest babies

    Big sis would've had some kind of mutant baby if you pro-lifers had your way.

    February 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. EMILY

    Pro Choice = Pro Satan

    February 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. marcus

    They are baby murderers.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  16. be quiet

    This is somewhat misleading because next years grants are still denied.

    The fact that they pulled funding in the first place when there hasn't been any proof that federal money was being used is enough to keep my money going directly to PP. 750,000 breast exams and mammograms are performed every year for the poor and under-insured. If even one woman is affected, thats too many.

    I find it deplorable they would even consider pulling the funding in the first place.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Observer

    Good to know that Ethridge supports the wholesale murder of children.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  18. ?

    Planned Parenthood is great for when you need the morning after pill when the condom breaks during that drunken night you and big sis swear to never speak of again.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Jen

    The thing is, they didn't say what the article is purporting they are said. If you compare the comments from Nancy Brinker yesterday on Andrea Mitchell's show, she said that Planned Parenthood would still get the grants they had already been earmarked to get. The statement released today does not change that language nor does it state they will get funding in the future. One of their board members was asked about this very thing and he himself said you can't guarantee who will get grants in the future.

    The Komen Foundation didn't say anything new today. They are in CYA mode and phrased the statement in a way to plug the whole in their quickly sinking ship.

    If they really cared about breast cancer research, they'd reinstate the $12 million grant for stem cell research.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  20. thomas

    That sickening smell is what's left of Komen, after it stepped on the third rail of charity politics.

    Had they not used money donated to fight cancer to instead send political messages for religious extremists, they would have continued receiving donations from everyone, and fighting a disease that everyone hates.

    But now, neither side trusts them, and their donations will dry up and wither away.

    Way to go, morons.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |

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