The battle has finally been won against…breast-cancer screenings?
Yes, you read that right, and yes, it’s OK to get really pissed off, ladies.
Amid sustained pressure from right-to-life groups (and the congressmen they support), Susan G. Komen for the Cure — the nation’s main breast-cancer nonprofit — has pulled all of its breast-cancer-screening grants, $680,000, from 19 Planned Parenthood Federation of America offices nationwide. This means that thousands of American women might no longer have access to basic, life-saving diagnostics.
(But hey, if you’re the kind of sicko who would consider this a political victory, you probably wouldn’t think that far in advance about women’s health.)
Komen says that it will discontinue funding because of a new rule that bars the organization from giving money to groups that are under investigation. Since September 2011, Time reports, Congress has put Planned Parenthood under intense scrutiny and is analyzing whether the group uses federal funds for abortions (which it’s not supposed to do).
(Full disclosure: A Planned Parenthood affiliate in my hometown was my women’s health provider for several years, and to say that I’m pro-choice probably is the understatement of forever…)
That said, you might wonder whether this affects Planned Parenthood offices in New York, which served 50,000 patients in 2011 — 17,000 of which got breast exams.
Geoffrey Cowley, a Planned Parenthood spokesman, assured Runnin’ Scared that NYC patients will not be impacted.
“New York City has never been a grantee of the foundation,” he said. “Our work here will continue unaffected.”
In the U.S., the group provides about 750,000 breast exams annually. Cowley said Planned Parenthood has started a national emergency fund so that centers can keep providing screenings.