Susan G. Komen pulling funding for Planned Parenthood is a slap in the face

It was so disheartening to wake up this morning to the news that the Susan G. Komen foundation (responsible for so much of the awareness that has been raised over the last couple of decades around breast cancer) decided to pull their funding for Planned Parenthood.

The non-profit women's health provider has been under attack by conservatives in Congress who have chosen to focus on the fact that the centers provide abortions, when the truth of the matter is that pregnancy terminations really only constitute about 3% of the total services provided by Planned Parenthood.

"We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure. Our greatest desire is for Komen to reconsider this policy and recommit to the partnership on which so many women count," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.

 So why is this a slap in the face for us Latinas?


Well, because we are one of the highest groups serviced by Planned Parenthood and cuts disproportionately hinder low-income Latinas' access to reproductive care. Latinas have lower screening rates for both mammography and Pap tests than White and Black women and a greater percentage of us (39 percent) are uninsured, more than the women of any other racial or ethnic group.

It's sad that an organization committed to working towards the health of women would cease funding for such a crucial and vital partner like Planned Parenthood that provides dire services for those most in need. But it's not entirely shocking that the Susan G. Komen foundation was so easily swayed. Founder and CEO of the foundation, Nancy Brinker, was after all, a former appointee of the George W. Bush Administration. Susan G. Komen, whom the organization was named after, was Brinker's sister.

We're not the only ones disappointed with the Susan G. Komen foundation, Democratic Rep. Mike Honda of California said in a statement to CNN, "This is just the latest casualty in a misguided and harmful campaign started by House Republicans to demonize the life-saving health services delivered by Planned Parenthood health centers."

Do you think Planned Parenthood is important to our community? Have you ever used Planned Parenthood services?

Image via ctrouper/flickr

Topics: latino health  womens health