San Diego Komen Office Receives Death Threats
Friday, February 3, 2012
Aired 2/3/12 on KPBS News.
The San Diego affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure received two email death threats following the announcement that the national organization was cutting funding to Planned Parenthood.
The San Diego affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure received email death threats after the announcement that the national organization was cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, according to Laura Farmer Sherman, executive director of the Kearny Mesa office.
Sherman added that three sponsors have pulled their funding.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure reversed its decision Friday to end grants to Planned Parenthood.
"We see it as a political witch hunt, and we don't use those words lightly." Some friends and supporters of the pink ribbon campaign are seeing red as the Susan G. Komen breast cancer charity cuts off money to Planned Parenthood.
Now one of the country's most popular and high profile charities is under fire, accused of playing politics. Over the years, the Susan G. Komen Foundation has partnered with Planned Parenthood to pay for thousands of breast exams and mammograms. Now, that money is going away and Local 12 News Reporter Joe Webb found some believe the Komen Foundation was bullied by anti- abortion forces.
Komen has adopted new criteria for grants. It no longer grants money to organizations under investigation. the Congressman who led the fight last year to defund Planned Parenthood has called for an investigation.
Planned Parenthood says that was politically motivated and now the Komen people are following suit.
Last September 24th, nearly 13,000 walkers and runners hit the streets of Cincinnati for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. $670,000 was raised to fight breast cancer. Over the years, Bobbi Montgomery has walked two or three times and sponsored other walkers. Her support stopped with yesterday's announcement. "I have only a certain amount of money to give to worthy causes and any money I would have given to Komen I will now funnel to Planned Parenthood."
Like so many others, Bobbi thinks Komen's cut is a bow to anti-abortion political forces fighting Planned Parenthood. No one from the local Susan G. Komen organization would speak on camera today. Their founder and CEO posted a video statement on YouTube. "Contrary to what people are saying, we are not pulling any existing grants. Current grants are not affected. As we move forward we will implement these new strategies that will allow us to serve even more women. We will never bow to political pressure. We will always stand firm in our goal to end breast cancer forever."
Southwest Ohio's Planned Parenthood gets no grant money from the Komen Foundation but feels there is a significant indirect impact. They feel they've lost a partner in the fight for healthy women. "I do hope we can heal this rift between our organization and Susan G. Komen...a rift that was not created by anyone internally in these organizations but by bullies outside who are pressuring them to make a decision that looks like us to be a political witch hunt."
Susan G. Komen for the Cure gives about $700,000 a year in grants to Planned Parenthood. The money paid for about 170,000 breast exams and 6400 mammograms over the past five years. Planned Parenthood says they expect to recover that loss and more with additional donations that come in as more people hear about the cuts.