WASHINGTON - DFL Sen. Al Franken is one of a group of Democratic U.S. Senators who are asking the Susan G. Komen Foundation to reverse its decision this week to halt funding for to Planned Parenthood breast cancer screening .
The foundation, a major sponsor of breast cancer research and screening, withdrew financial support for Planned Parenthood citing a policy of not funding groups that are currently under investigation.
Republicans opposed to abortion on a U.S. House committee are investigating the organization in what the group's supporters characterize as a politically motivated attempt to intimidate the country's largest provider of abortion and family planning services.
In a letter to Komen CEO Nancy Brinker, the Senators call the foundation's decision "troubling" and write, "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."
Franken's office confirmed that he had signed the letter.
The Washington Post reports that 21 other Senators, all Democrats, have also signed it. 25 other Senators also signed the letter.
Here's a copy of the full letter:
Dear Ambassador Brinker,
We write to express our disappointment with Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision to cut funding for breast cancer prevention, screening, and education at Planned Parenthood health centers. This troubling decision threatens to reduce access to necessary, life saving services. We urge Komen to reconsider its decision.
Planned Parenthood is a trusted provider of health care for women and men. More than 90 percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood are primary and preventative including wellness exams and cancers screenings that save lives. Each year, Planned Parenthood health clinics provide 750,000 breast exams, 770,000 pap tests and nearly 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases. Twenty percent of all women in the U.S. have visited a Planned Parenthood health center.
For the past five years, grants to local affiliates of Planned Parenthood have been an important part of Planned Parenthood's work to protect women from breast cancer. Komen funding for Planned Parenthood has provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and resulted in 6,400 referrals for mammograms. In 2011 alone, grants from Komen provided Planned Parenthood with roughly $650,000 in funding for breast cancer prevention, screening, and education. According to a recent statement by Komen, "In some areas of the U.S., our affiliates have determined a Planned Parenthood clinic to be the best or only local place where women can receive breast health care."
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.
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.
This is a disturbing attack on women.
Where is Senator Klobuchar on this issue?
Very disappointing that politics have been put ahead of women's health by an organization that was created for and devoted to women's health.
They should be pink with embarrassment and shame.
It is unlikely that the Susan G. Komen decision will impact the personal decision by women to bear, or not bear, a child. It will increase cancer deaths, which seems morally contrary to the long time aims of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
This miserably biased decision should be reversed promptly.
I'm someone who is neutral toward Planned Parenthood (i.e. I think it has it pros and a few cons). I'm amazed at the uproar over the defunding of such a small amount ( $700K), especially since contributions to Planned Parenthood since the announcement more than offset the $ 700K.
It seems to me there is a gross overreaction by the Planned Parenthood supporters. I think organizations like Komen that are highly controversial like Planned Parenthood should be getting its money privately from those that believe in it. My suggestion to its supporters is to put your energy and money direclty into it rather than making such a big deal about such a small amount for a national organization such as Planned Parenthood. To get this upset at Komen over such a small amount is childish.
The Komen Foundation list the following as "National Sponsors"...
Bank of America
Ford Motor Company
New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
Pass it on.
Thank you for your gross under-reaction to this decision. It isn't about the specific amount of money... although I would dare lay claim that $700,000 would provide an enormous amount of screenings for women who so desperately need them.
It is about the right-wing ideology that has surfaced within an organization with one goal in mind... reduce, and eventually eliminate breast cancer.
To single out Planned Parenthood is so ripe with hypocrisy I am amazed that they can try to defend their actions with a straight face (god forbid a gay face).
If you think I'm off track here, then please explain why Komen has not pulled their funding from Penn State University (to the tune of $7.5 million dollars) who is also under federal investigation.
What is really tragic, is that Planned Parenthood insists on relying on their abortion and abortion referral services as a significant revenue source so that life-SAVING services can be provided to adult women. The senators' concern about saving lives is confusing considering the nature of the destructive services with which Planned Parenthood is involved. Supporting services that save lives at the expense of taking lives is somewhat contradictory.
If Franken wanted to do something, he would call upon IRS to investigate continuation of Komen's 501(c)3 with their commerical actvities and political activism. After all, congres has asked the IRS to investigate AARP for those reasons.
I'm interested in hearing of Dren Kes' methods and successes in raising charitable donations of small sums like $700,000 in the current economic environment.
If men became pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament
PP does not perform mammograms, according to their own website: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/womens-health/breast-cancer-screenings-21189.htm
Money that is given to organization to save lives should not in turn be given to organizations that take lives.
Dear Senator Franken,
Thank you for standing up for women all over this country. I have donated to the Susan G Komen Organization for decades donating for family members with breast cancer. I will never donate again, I'd like my donation for this year returned, I have shredded all my address labels, and shredded my membership card. Breast cancer is not a political tool. Women who cannot afford health insurance get breast cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood. I will only be donating to them from now on. Shame on you Susan G Komen Foundation. You have dishonored the memory of Susan.
Women not screened on time to detect cancer will undergo expensive, unnecessary and painful treatments later. No insurance, guess who pays. Isnt it common sense to prevent, rather than cure? Men with very limited brain power seem to be in congress, shame on them.
//"...senators' concern about saving lives is confusing considering the nature of the destructive services with which Planned Parenthood is involved."//
PP isn't involved in "destructive services." They abort fetuses; they do not destroy lives. And they of course also do a lot of other health care for women, including saving lives.
Dren Kes: First, it is not a small amount. $700,000 worth of breast-cancer screening is significant, and worth getting upset about. But the real issue is how an organization like SGK can base its decisions about funding for women's health care on small-minded right-wing politics.
A little education for Jamie. A fetus is a life. By the definition of science, it is alive, it is human, it is innocent. To deny these facts is not even logical. By what definition do you define life?
Ok, congressmen instead of this fight lets fight to get healthcare for all Americans not just for those who are able to pay for it. That will end this crazy cycle of giving money to organizations who may or may not use it for the benefit others.
I think it is a shame in the 21st century that a country as the US has no national health care mandate!
What a shame, more lies to the very people who would get this supposed healthcare. Planned Parenthood kills babies and takes lives that could be productive. Screening is not a mammogram. The money should not go to an organization that kills babies. We also do not need National Health Care. More people will die because of it, especially Seniors. If you are over 74, you will not get the tests you need to diagnose your illness. You also will not get proper treatment for your illness. Read the Bill!!!
To those few people on here who are stating "Life begins at conception." Why do these same people seem to have no concern for these lives once they are born? The people who are so opposed to access to abortion are the same people who want to cut assistance to the needy.
It is one thing to to have disdain for adults who have not done enough to better their financial situation, but as far as children born into poverty... what have they done to deserve your scorn?
If you want to deny a women's access to safe birth control and safe abortions, how come you don't also propose a way to provide decent housing, food, and education for these children you want to force women in poverty to conceive and carry to term?