Friday, February 3, 2012

Tester, Baucus urge Komen for the Cure to reverse "troubling" Planned Parenthood decision (UPDATE)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 7:30 AM

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Max Baucus and Jon Tester are among 26 senators to sign a letter urging the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to reverse its "troubling decision" to cut funding from Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings for the poor.

"We earnestly hope that you will put women’s health before partisan politics and reconsider this decision for the sake of the women who depend on both your organizations for access to the health care they need," the letter reads.

Komen for the Cure abruptly ended its decade-long partnership with Planned Parenthood in the name of improved grant-making procedures. Immediately after the news was announced, Komen for the Cure faced a backlash from longtime supporters who believe the decision is politically motivated. Planned Parenthood provides family planning and abortion services in hundreds of clinics across the country.

The New York Times quoted a current board member explaining that "Komen had become increasingly worried that an investigation of Planned Parenthood by Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, would damage Komen’s credibility with donors." Instead, Komen's getting hit with what the Times described as "rising dissension in its own ranks and a roiling anger on the Internet showing the power of social media to harness protest."

The letter signed by Tester and Baucus was addressed to Nancy Brinker, Komen’s founder and CEO.

“It would be tragic if any woman — let alone thousands of women — lost access to these potentially life-saving screenings because of a politically motivated attack,” the letter reads. “We earnestly hope that you will put women’s health before partisan politics and reconsider this decision for the sake of the women who depend on both your organizations for access to the health care they need.”

UPDATE: Komen issued an apology this morning "for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives,” and will allow Planned Parenthood to reapply for grants.

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