The Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the largest breast-cancer charity in the United States, announced that it will end its partnership with Planned Parenthood affiliates. This will prevent Planned Parenthood affiliates from receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars to conduct breast cancer screenings annually. According to Planned Parenthood, its clinics received $680,000 last year alone from the Komen foundation.
Representatives from the Komen foundation indicated that they ended the partnership with Planned Parenthood because the Komen foundation recently adopted a policy, which states that grants may not be given to organizations that are under investigation by local, state, or federal officials. Leslie Aun, a spokesperson for the Komen foundation, indicated that because Planned Parenthood's spending on abortion services is the subject of an investigation initiated by Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL), the Komen foundation has elected to end its partnership.
Officials from Planned Parenthood have indicated that they believe that the Komen foundation was motivated by pressure from anti-abortion forces. Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, stated, "It's hard to understand how an organization with whom we share a mission of saving women's lives could have bowed to this kind of bullying. It's really hurtful. Until really recently, the Komen foundation had been praising our breast health programs as essential. This really abrupt about-face was very surprising. I think the Komen foundation has been bullied by right-wing groups."
Planned Parenthood health centers across the country conduct over one million cervical cancer screenings and 830,000 breast exams yearly. Its clinics also provide contraception to approximately 2.5 million women per year.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 2/1/12; Associated Press 1/31/12
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .