Rachel Alexander

Western civilization has gradually progressed away from barbaric practices. By the 20th century, most developed nations stopped torturing people and executing them in cruel ways. In the US, only humane ways of execution are permitted for executing the most notorious criminals.

Similarly, support for abortion decreased in recent years as awareness spread of how horrific the procedure is. A nationwide ban on partial-birth abortion finally made it into law in 2003, and was upheld by the Supreme Court. The younger generations have become more pro-life than older generations; 23-year old Lila Rose is one of the biggest names today in the pro-life movement. In 1990, 65% of Americans supported legalized abortion. In 2009, a Gallup poll found for the first time that more Americans call themselves “pro-life” on abortion than not. 51% now consider themselves pro-life compared to 42% who consider themselves pro-choice. In 2011, 62% or all of Americans surveyed told Gallup they wanted all or most abortions made illegal.

This past week, the well-known Susan J. Komen breast cancer charity started to back away from its ties to abortion. Komen contributes about $680,000 per year to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the US. Komen has been under pressure for years by pro-lifers to disassociate itself from Planned Parenthood. On January 31, 2012, Komen announced it would cut funding to Planned Parenthood. At first it appeared that the decision to stop funding came as a result of a new policy not to fund organizations under investigation. Planned Parenthood is under investigation for several reasons, including providing abortions to minors. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) is investigating Planned Parenthood for using taxpayer funding for abortions, a violation of the Hyde Amendment. Planned Parenthood receives over $300 million per year in taxpayer funding, one-third of its budget.

26 members of Congress, mostly feminists, responded with an angry letter to Komen demanding that it reconsider. Abortion supporters also put pressure on Komen. Komen issued a clarification backing off somewhat from its decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood. The organization stated that it would only stop giving to groups under criminal investigation, and that the reason for dropping Planned Parenthood was because it does not provide mammograms. Planned Parenthood only provides breast exams, and sends women who come in for mammogram screening elsewhere. Komen said it would continue giving existing grants to Planned Parenthood, but made no promises to provide future grants.

This is not about “women and their healthcare” as abortion supporters are trying to spin in the media. There are already plenty of clinics around the country where low-income women can receive free or very discounted breast exams and mammograms. Planned Parenthood’s primary mission is to provide abortions; women’s healthcare is a smokescreen it uses to disguise the distastefulness of abortion. Planned Parenthood provides about one-quarter of all abortions performed in the US. It has been increasing the number of abortions it performs each year, even though abortions overall are declining. Planned Parenthood receives one-third to 40% of its income from performing abortions. Even if Planned Parenthood directs federal funding and charitable contributions from Komen to services other than abortions, that frees up more of its funds for abortions.

There is a link between breast cancer and abortion; women who have had an abortion have a higher risk of getting breast cancer. It is understandable why the number one breast cancer fighting organization might no longer want to fund the number one abortion mill. Over one million babies are aborted each year in the US, and one quarter of those abortions take place at Planned Parenthood. An organization that seeks to save the lives of women really has no business funding an organization that causes the deaths of hundreds of thousands of unborn women each year. Planned Parenthood does not even provide mammograms, so it makes little sense to pay Planned Parenthood to refer women to other organizations to have them done.

Komen is a private charity and entitled to spend its funds any way it wants. Feminists in Congress should not be pressuring it on how to spend its money. Let’s hope Komen does reconsider giving future grants to Planned Parenthood. Many pro-lifers gave contributions to Komen after the announcement that it would no longer fund Planned Parenthood. It would not be right to use that money for the exact opposite purpose of what it was intended. Otherwise it may find its supporters moving to organizations like Respect Life Cancer Foundation instead. There is a good chance Komen will do the right thing. Komen quietly stopped funding embryonic stem cell research last October. Welcome to the 21st century, Komen.


Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the Intellectual Conservative.