Komen Foundation’s race for GOP base?

The Last Word

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation defended its decision to cut funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. They said it had nothing to do with the fact that PP also provides abortions.

Today, breast cancer organization released the following statement:

We are dismayed and extremely disappointed that actions we have taken to strengthen our granting process have been widely mischaracterized.  It is necessary to set the record straight.

Starting in 2010, Komen began an initiative to help us do a better job of measuring the impact of community grants. This is important because we invest significant dollars in our local community programs — $93 million in 2011, which provided for 700,000 breast health screenings and diagnostic procedures.

Following this review, we made the decision to implement stronger performance criteria for our grantees to minimize duplication and free up dollars for direct services to help vulnerable women.  To support this new granting strategy, Komen has also implemented more stringent eligibility standards to safeguard donor dollars. Consequently, some organizations are no longer eligible to receive Komen grants.

Some might argue that our standards are too exacting, but over the past three decades people have given us more than just their money.  They have given us their trust and we take that responsibility very seriously.

We regret that these new policies have impacted some longstanding grantees, such as Planned Parenthood, but want to be absolutely clear that our grant-making decisions are not about politics.  Throughout our 30 year history, our priority has always been and will continue to be the women we serve.  As we move forward, we are working to ensure that there is no interruption or gaps in services for the women who need our support most in the fight against breast cancer.

On the record, they’re saying it’s not a politics thing. But a deeper look into the foundation’s leadership suggests otherwise.

Karen Handel, senior vice president of the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, has close links to the conservative, anti-abortion movement. She ran for governor of Georgia in 2010, vowing to end funding for Planned Parenthood and earned endorsements from Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.

Komen founder and CEO Nancy Goodman Brinker has donated thousands of dollars to the Republican Party since 1990. She also served as an ambassador under George W. Bush’s Administration.

NBC News video…

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