Denver Komen Will Continue to Fund Planned Parenthood…For Now
Best known as the group behind the Race for the Cure, an annual fundraiser and 5k run, the Susan G. Komen foundation made national headlines this week when it announced it would no longer provide funding to Planned Parenthood. But, it looks like one Komen branch won’t be backing down from its ties to the embattled reproductive healthcare organization.
In a statement, released on their website Tuesday evening, the Denver branch of the Susan G. Komen foundation announced it would continue funding Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. While the decision is not a permanent one, requiring approval of a committee and only guaranteed through March 2013, the move still seems to be a major break other chapters of the Dallas-based organization.
from The Colorado Independent:
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains uses its Komen money overwhelmingly to serve patients whose health-care options are severely limited. As the Denver Post reported yesterday, 84 percent of PPRM patients have no health insurance and 62 percent live at or below the federal poverty line.
In deciding not to preclude future funding of the local Planned Parenthood chapter, Denver Komen has offered a small counter narrative to the dramatic news yesterday that the national Komen organization has decided against any further Planned Parenthood funding pending the conclusion of a highly charged congressional audit that came as part of an historic assault on the women’s reproductive health and abortion provider. The audit was launched last year by social-conservatives in the Republican-controlled House who were spurred to act by anti-abortion organizations, mainly the Susan B Anthony List.
National spokespeople for Komen dismissed arguments that the organization had succumbed to political pressure, citing only the fact that Planned Parenthood is under congressional investigation and that, according to new grantee criteria, organizations under investigation can not be considered for funding.
It’s unclear why Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains doesn’t fall within that criteria.
PPRM Spokesperson Monica McCafferty told the Colorado Independent that, whatever the reasoning, the fact is “Denver Komen has been a strong advocate” for her organization.
The news is not likely to please Karen Handel, a recently appointed Komen SVP and former Republican gubernatorial candidate, who many believe may have been a more direct influence on the decision to cut funding. During her time running for office in Georgia, Handel was an outspoken opponent of Planned Parenthood, openly stating that she, "[does] not support the mission of Planned Parenthood,” and promised to cut grants and other state-funding for the organization.
But the question remains, what happens after March 31, 2013? Will other chapters receive similar exemptions? Or is this just a PR move, to calm the national outrage over the funding decision, that will be banned by the Komen Foundation as soon as eyes turn to other headlines?
(image courtesy of the Washington Post)
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