Planned Parenthood reacts to defunding by Susan G. Komen

Less than a year ago, as Congress became embroiled in discussions of how to reduce the federal deficit, there was a push by House Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood. That attempt ended after pro-choice advocates and Democrats pushed back.

Komen's new senior vice president of public policy, Karen Handel, has stated publicly that because she is pro-life she does not support Planned Parenthood and vowed to de-fund screenings back in 2010.

Zdravecky, with Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, says her organization was turned down for a Komen grant two years ago. Sounding a bit worn down over the telephone, she says it's tough for her organization to constantly defend itself from Congress, the media and now previously supportive groups that they've worked with in the past.

"It hurts, frankly," she says, but adds that "we have to stand up for the women in this country. Right now, we're continuing to provide services. Komen doesn't provide services. We aren't trying to promote ill will towards Komen, but we want them to reconsider."

There has been a lot of reaction to the news on social media. Bethany Cosantino from the Southern California band Best Coast wrote on her Facebook page:

My mother is a breast cancer survivor, and without the early discover of her cancer through a mammogram, my mother could have lost her life. There are SO many women in the world who do not have the luxury of walking into a doctor's office and having their medical procedures covered by insurance. I'm sure many of you who watch this page don't have health insurance. Please put all of your opinions aside and support this cause.

The news that the Susan G. Komen for a Cure Foundation, America's largest charity to fight breast cancer, will no longer fund Planned Parenthood's free and low-cost breast cancer screenings for millions of women is being met with outrage by pro-choice advocates across the country.

The foundation has cited an investigation into Planned Parenthood by Florida Republican Representative Cliff Stearns as the reason for pulling nearly $1,000,000 in funding for breast cancer screenings. Komen says the organization's new rules cut off grants to any group being investigated by authorities at the local, state or federal level. Stearns began his inquiry last fall to determine whether Planned Parenthood uses federal money to fund abortions, which it is forbidden to do.

Barbara A. Zdravecky, president/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, says she's saddened that politics have gotten in the way of women's health care. Planned Parenthood says more than 90 percent of its health care is preventative, including breast cancer screenings, birth control, and prevention sexually transmitted diseases.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.