Congress members ask Komen to rethink Planned Parenthood fund cuts


Some members of the House and Senate are getting involved in the flap over the recent decision of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to cut back funding of Planned Parenthood. They’re inviting colleagues to sign letters asking Komen to reconsider its stance and calling the organization out for being politically motivated.

A news release from the office of U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) says she and fellow Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have been joined by 24 of their colleagues in support of the letter, addressed to Komen founder and Chief Executive Nancy 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,” it reads. “This troubling decision threatens to reduce access to necessary, life-saving services. We urge Komen to reconsider its decision.”


The letter goes on to say, “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.”

Signers include California Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein from California, plus Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Congressman Mike Honda (D-San Jose) is asking his peers to sign a similar letter to Brinker. As of Thursday evening the letter had 27 signatures and was still open. “This is an alarming development resulting from political pressure from anti-women’s health organizations,” it says.

“It has been noted that the primary reason for this shift in Komen policy is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress,” the letter continues. “It is clear that the investigation headed by Rep. Cliff Stearns is politically motivated, and it, too, was driven by ongoing pressure from extreme anti women’s health organizations.”

In a letter to his colleagues asking for support, Honda says the issue of cancer is deeply personal: “In 2004,” he writes, “my wife passed away from ovarian cancer and last year, my long-time Chief of Staff successfully battled breast cancer; proving that early detection is still our greatest weapon against this disease.”