In the wake of the decision to stop providing critical grant money to help low-income women access affordable cancer screens, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure has started shedding leadership. Dr. Kathy Plesser, a Manhatten radiologist on the medical advisory board for the group’s New York chapter said she plans to resign her position unless Komen reverses its decision.
If Plesser does resign, she would join Komen’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, as well as Deb Anthony, the executive director of Komen’s Los Angeles County chapter, both of whom resigned in protest.
And it’s not just leadership Komen has lost. It’s all credibility. It’s proffered justifications rang false on network television, and for a reason–it’s a lie. The rule change that prompted the dissolution of the relationship between Planned Parenthood and Komen was adopted in order to create an excuse to cut-off Planned Parenthood.
Not only that, the decision to create a rule that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood was driven by the organization’s new senior vice-president for public policy, Karen Handel.
Komen gives out grants to roughly 2,000 organizations and the new “no-investigations” rule applies only to Planned Parenthood so far. Even Penn State, embroiled in one of the largest child criminal sexual investigations and prosecutions, just received a nice fat new grant from Komen–after adoption of this rule.
And Komen still claims this was not a political decision? Furthermore, the decision was made in December, which begs the question of why Komen made the announcement when they did — to capitalize on and promote an upswing of anti-abortion rhetoric that will be pumped into millions of homes across the nation and in swing states thanks to Randall Terry’s anti-abortion Super Bowl ad?
Or maybe it’s just a callousness coupled with a newly found evangelical partisanship that made the idea of politicizing breast cancer for the sake of grinding the Planned Parenthood ax appealing. Either way, it’s a disaster with deadly consequences.
Photo from NASA Goddard Photo and Video via flickr.