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It hasn't exactly been the greatest year for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure. Once lauded as the premier advocacy organization fighting breast cancer, its ideologically motivated effort to cut off grants to Planned Parenthood struck a nerve across the nation, tarnished the foundation's reputation and hurt the fund-raising efforts of it and some of its affiliates. Now, after the resignation of the vice president who engineered the grant chopping proposal and fierce excoriation from a broad array of advocacy organizations, the foundation reports that it will be awarding grants to the nearly the same number of local Planned Parenthood operations as it did in 2011:
At least 17 Planned Parenthood affiliates will be funded this year, about the same number that received grants in 2011, according to a tally provided by Komen. The total amount of the grants, which are for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services, is still being worked out. Most recipients this year also received funds last year. [...]

Planned Parenthood officials said they do not believe politics played a role in grant awards this year. In some locations, the controversy has deepened the relationship, they said.

Nineteen local affiliates were funded in 2011. Komen says more than 17 may be funded this year because not all its affiliates use April 1 as their fiscal year.

Koman spokeswoman Leslie Aun said: "People need to know that we have not and never will walk away from women in need. There is no one filling the gap in services the way that Komen is.”

That is good to know. Too bad that it took several weeks in the glare of the national spotlight to get there. Too bad some local affiliates who opposed the national's approach got caught in blowback.

A number of Komen affiliates, notably those in Colorado and New York, have awarded large grants to Planned Parenthood in 2012. Their leaders had objected strongly when the news came to light about the national organization's plans to cut off grants to Planned Parenthood. The controversy forced the Nassau County New York affiliate to cancel two fund-raising events. An affiliate in southern Arizona fell far short of its membership recruiting goal and its fund-raising target.

This is what happens—exactly what ought to happen—when an organization supposedly devoted to women's health decides to join right-wing crusaders for whom women's well-being is dependent on their submission to the womb police. It will be a long time—never in many cases—before some people contribute to Komen again.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 01:54 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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