In apparent effort to curry favor in conservative and Catholic South Louisiana and create some distance between itself and a controversy that erupted this summer in the U.S. Congress, the Acadiana affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation has jumped on the anti-Planned Parenthood bandwagon — a movement that got new life with the release in recent weeks of heavily edited, highly misleading “undercover” videos of PP executives and physicians released by an obscure anti-abortion group.
On its Facebook page, Komen Acadiana posted a graphic that reads, “Komen Acadiana knows where every dollar goes and has never given to Planned Parenthood. It also has no plans of doing so.”
Presumably the nice folks at Komen Acadiana know that Planned Parenthood in Louisiana provides no abortion services but it does offer breast-health screenings to thousands of poor and low-income Louisiana women.
This would be a head-scratcher but for the context: A recent bill in Congress that would have directed the U.S. Mint to produce a commemorative coin to raise money for breast cancer awareness got derailed when it became tangled up in the politics of abortion and the relationship between Komen and PP. Recall the ugly episode in 2012 when the national Komen organization backed off cutting ties with Planned Parenthood amid an intense backlash from PP supporters.
Fast forward to mid July and this report from CNN:
House Republican leaders canceled a vote on Tuesday on legislation that would have created a commemorative coin to raise money for breast cancer awareness, after some House conservatives raised concerns the coin sale funds would be used to support an abortion rights group at the center of a controversial new video.
The bipartisan bill directed the Treasury Department to mint a new coin and send some of the proceeds from it to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. But shortly before the vote on what many considered a non-controversial coin, several anti-abortion rights advocacy groups launched an effort to defeat the measure. They argued the Komen Foundation supports programs run by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a group that provides women’s health care, including abortion services.
Backlash to a video – circulated on Tuesday by an undercover group opposed to abortion rights – only ignited controversy on what is already a flashpoint over a social issue. The video shows a Planned Parenthood staffer seeming to discuss the sale of body parts from abortions.
“Komen has had a close connection with Planned Parenthood for a number of years and some folks hadn’t realized that,” Kansas GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp told CNN. He said several outside groups increased opposition to the bill by saying they planned to “score” the vote – a practice of keeping tabs on each member’s record on abortion-related legislation….
Heritage Action, a conservative advocacy group, sent out a “key vote” alert to members.
“The bill would require the U.S. Treasury to mint coins that would funnel up to $4.75 million to Dallas-based Susan G. Komen – an organization that notoriously funds abortion giant Planned Parenthood,” the group said.
House Republicans decided to cancel the vote and revise the bill to funnel the money from the coin to another group supporting breast cancer research.
“We are working to ensure that charitable organizations which receive funding from this legislation are 100% focused on diagnosing, treating and curing breast cancer,” a senior House GOP leadership told CNN.