by Max Brantley
Sherrye McBryde, executive director of the Arkansas affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, has issued the following statement from the board of the organization on the growing controversy over the national organization's decision to stop making grants to Planned Parenthood organizations for breast screening.
The Arkansas Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is about breast health. After Susan G. Komen National decided, without input from affiliates, to stop grant funding for any organization that is under governmental investigation, including Planned Parenthood, we feel caught in a political storm about something else entirely.
As we understand this, there is an investigation of Planned Parenthood by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for the House Energy and Commerce Committee of the United States Congress. We hope Komen national will reverse its position on granting to organizations under investigation because we feel decisions of this nature should be made only after the investigation is complete.
In the past, our organization has been in the hot seat because a few other affiliates around the country do provide grant funds to Planned Parenthood specifically for breast health. We could understand their need to fund these grants to serve women and we knew no Komen funds were going to anything but breast health. We knew because we require strict accounting and reporting for our grants. The Arkansas Affiliate has never granted money to Planned
Parenthood, neither have we been asked. Money from Arkansas sent to Komen National goes directly into a research grant to find a cure for breast cancer.
This community has supported the Arkansas Affiliate for eighteen years. In that time, we have given a total of $12 million dollars to serve those in need of breast health funds in Arkansas. Our board will vote on February 16th to approve a slate of grants totaling another $1.3 million that will provide funds for screening, education and treatment to 23 organizations around the state.
Please do not judge, from either side of this issue, without looking at the total of our good works. We have no desire to be part of something unrelated to our cause. We will continue to focus on our mission, which is to provide breast health to the women of Arkansas.
UPDATE: Talking Points Memo writes about the Republican fingerprints on Planned Parenthood's troubles at Komen.