Evidence mounts of political motivation behind Komen’s defunding of Planned Parenthood
In case you had doubts as to whether or not Komen for the Cure’s withdrawal of funding from Planned Parenthood was motivated by far-right social politics, add this to the evidence:
Around the same time as the funding policy update was being rolled out late last year, Komen released a statement (PDF) emphasizing that it does not and has never provided funding for cancer research using embryonic stem cells. The statement says that Komen will only fund researching using stem cells “derived without creating a human embryo or destroying a human embryo.”
While embryonic stem cell research may or may not be particularly useful in studying potential cures and treatments for breast cancer (there is some legitimate debate on that topic), the fact that Komen felt a need to emphasize this, using language practically lifted from “pro-life” talking points, around the same time as it was about to roll out a policy seemingly targeted at pulling the plug on their partnership with Planned Parenthood seems a bit unusual.
It’s also worth noting that these policy changes have come about since Karen Handel became the vice president of Komen for the Cure. Handel is perhaps best known as Georgia’s former secretary of state and failed gubernatorial candidate, endorsed by Sarah Palin, whose platform included the promise to defund Planned Parenthood in the state.