Susan G. Komen Defunded Planned Parenthood So Women Defunded Susan G. Komen
3:15 pm, June 6th | by Grace Rasmus
Remember when Susan G. Komen for the Cure publicly slashed funding for Planned Parenthood? Well, people didn’t like that and over a year later the controversy is still having a major impact on the foundation’s viability.
Komen’s famous three-day, 60-mile walk in Washington, D.C. has officially been cancelled for 2014. Races in seven other major cities (including Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco) have also been cancelled due to a lack of participation.
The foundation, which has raised an estimated $2 billion dollars for breast cancer research over the past 30 years, told the New York Daily News that participation in the race has dropped by 37 percent in the past four years. The race raised $5 million in 2011, $2 million in 2012 and is projected to reach about $1.5 million this year. (The 2013 race will take place on Oct. 11.)
Since 2007, Komen has granted money to pay for 170,000 clinical breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals via the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In Jan. 2012, the foundation announced that it would no longer be funding PPFA allegedly due to pressure from pro-life advocates who objected to the health centers ties to abortion. (For the record, abortions only account for 3 percent of the organization’s total services.) Following a major backlash, CEO Nancy Brinker, a powerful Republican party supporter, was forced to reverse the decision and step down.
Since participants are required to raise at least $2,300 each in order to walk in the race, Komen blames the economy on this major drop. However, according to a spokeswoman, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, another foundation with mandated donations, has “participation levels… on par with last year’s.”
Sources familiar with Komen’s fundraising told The Washington Post that many of the walk’s most dedicated supporters also support Planned Parenthood and were among those most upset by the controversy. In the twenty-four hours after Komend announced its defunding of Planned Parenthood, PPFA received more than $400,000 from 6,000 donors and a grant of $250,000 from New York mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Controversy with Brinker recently resurged when it was revealed that in the same year of the defunding she received an enormous raise from $417,000 to $684,717.
[Image via the DBK Foundation]