Komen's withdrawal of Planned Parenthood funding blasted
The Komen Foundation decided to withdraw the support in October, but the news was kept quiet until Tuesday. Some board members said they feared a GOP-led congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood could damage Komen's reputation among donors.
California is overwhelmingly in favor of abortion rights, and there is little political downside to the vast Democratic majority in the statehouse siding with Planned Parenthood.
Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) posted on Facebook that he was "dismayed" by the foundation's decision to pull its $700,000 funding for breast cancer screenings.
"I believe it is fundamentally inappropriate for an organization whose sole function is to address a major health problem for women to so blatantly inject political issues into its decision to sever its ties with an organization that shares its same mission and the same commitment to ensuring women — and men — can lead a happy and healthy life," Perez wrote. "I sincerely hope that the leaders of the national Foundation will reverse this disconcerting decision."
State Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) said in a statement that the Legislative Women's Caucus, which she chairs, will suspend its annual bake sale to raise money for the foundation, as well as the tradition of illuminating the capitol building pink to heighten breast cancer awareness. She said the Komen foundation's decision "defies belief."
And state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Sylmar) will stop being a "Pink Tie Guy" who wears ties of that shade to raise awareness of the foundation's efforts.
"Komen has placed its supporters in the untenable position of aligning themselves with acquiescence to the agenda of the religious right, or aligning themselves with healthcare and breast cancer organizations that will not bow to such pressures," Padilla said in a statement. "The choice is clear to me."
-- Nicholas Riccardi
Photo: Breast cancer survivor Elizabeth Lueke is honored in 2009 at a Komen Foundation event. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has come under fire after yanking funding from Planned Parenthood. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times