02 February 2012

Correction

My earlier characterization of Susan G. Komen for the Cure as having cut off funding to Planned Parenthood out of "cowardice" appears to have assumed too much goodwill on the breast cancer megacharity's part. Today over at The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg reports credible evidence that Komen's policy to refuse funds to any organization "under investigation" was adopted explicitly to provide an excuse for defunding Planned Parenthood.

The decision to create a rule that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood, according to these sources, was driven by the organization's new senior vice president for public policy, Karen Handel, a former gubernatorial candidate from Georgia who is staunchly anti-abortion and who has said that since she is "pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood." (The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood did not pay for abortion or contraception services, only cancer detection, according to all parties involved.)

Meanwhile, Mother Jones reports that the same ban on funding to organizations "under investigation" would, if applied fairly, endanger a multimillion dollar research grant to Penn State's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center—since Penn State is under investigation by the Department of Education, following the recent child abuse scandal in Penn State's football program. Oops? ◼

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