|Letter to Susan G. Komen|
I am organizing my fellow colleagues in the House to write a joint letter encouraging the Komen Foundation to reconsider its decision. I left a voicemail for the Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen yesterday; it is my sincere hope that the years of life-saving work that this organization has encouraged is not undone by this one ill-advised action. We must ask – in the strongest possible terms – that Susan G. Komen reconsider its decision, as the bravery of millions of survivors everywhere demands the same kind of bravery exhibited by the Komen Foundation. You can find a draft copy of my Dear Colleague and the actual letter below:
Ask Komen to Stand Strong in the Face of Political Games:
Restore Breast Cancer Funding to Planned Parenthood
I’m writing to you today because the issue of cancer is deeply personal to me. In 2004, my wife passed away from ovarian cancer and last year, my long-time Chief of Staff successfully battled breast cancer; proving that early detection is still our greatest weapon against this disease.
This is why I was stunned when the news broke on Tuesday, January 31, that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has decided to not renew grant funding for breast cancer prevention, screenings, and education at Planned Parenthood health centers around the nation. I find this development alarming; Planned Parenthood screenings have been essential cornerstones in the battle to help detect and prevent breast cancer and other deadly cancers nationwide. Komen for the Cure’s decision to succumb to weeks of political pressure from anti-women’s health organizations sets a dangerous precedent and endangers the health of millions of women in the United States.
We all know of the tireless work that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has done since its inception, providing hope, raising nearly $2 billion to fight breast cancer, and educating us all about this deadly disease. I participated in the 2011 Race for the Cure along with my staff; together we raised thousands of dollars. I’m now distressed that the Komen Foundation is sacrificing its ability to continue to fight breast cancer by succumbing to political pressure. Already, thousands of Americans have pledged to no longer support Komen’s work because of this cowardly decision, until they reverse it.
It is my sincere hope that one ill-fated decision does not undo years of life-saving work. This is why I urge you to join me in sending a letter to Komen’s Founder and CEO Nancy Brinker urging reconsideration of this decision.
Dear Mrs. Brinker,
We are writing to express our sincere disappointment and utter confusion that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has decided to discontinue grant funding for breast cancer exams at Planned Parenthood health centers. This is an alarming development resulting from political pressure from anti-women’s health organizations. We ask – in the strongest possible terms – that Susan G. Komen reconsider its decision, as the health of millions of brave women everywhere demands the same kind of bravery exhibited from the Komen Foundation.
Succumbing to pressure from opponents of women’s health sets a dangerous precedent. It has been noted that the primary reason for this shift in Komen policy is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress. It is clear that the investigation headed by Rep. Cliff Stearns is politically motivated, and it, too, was driven by ongoing pressure from extreme anti women’s health organizations.
Under your new policy, any politician could call for an inquiry or investigation of an organization he or she does not support – whether it’s an organization focused on women’s health, communities of color, or immigration – and endanger that organization’s ability to function. This is inconsistent with America’s Constitutional principle of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The possibilities are endless—and scary. The fact that the Komen Foundation is using this investigation as the basis for its decision is distressing.
Planned Parenthood is a trusted leader in breast cancer prevention care; helping tens of thousands of women identify breast cancer early when there is the best chance of successful treatment. In fact, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provided nearly 750,000 clinical breast exams to women last year -- helping countless women detect breast cancer. Similarly, we know of the tireless work that Susan G. Komen has done since its inception, providing hope, raising nearly $2 billion dollars, and educating us all about this deadly disease. It is our sincere hope that one ill-fated decision does not undo years of life-saving work.
This is why we urge the Susan G. Komen Foundation to reconsider this decision and continue supporting breast cancer prevention programs through essential health care providers like Planned Parenthood.
Undersigned Members of Congress
Bill Name (i.e. HR 1776)
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