Meet the woman who got Komen to defund Planned Parenthood
- Americans United for Life President and CEO Charmaine Yoest. ( AMERICANS UNITED FOR LIFE) After the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood, attention has focused on its Vice President for Policy, Karen Handel. She joined the group last January after a failed run for governor in Georgia, where she had advocateddefunding Planned Parenthood.
“We’re so used to seeing Planned Parenthood succeed at defining themselves as the trendy place to be, and for Komen to make such a smart decision in recognizing the reality behind Planned Parenthood spin,” she adds. “As a breast cancer survivor, I was always troubled with this whole idea that the nation’s largest abortion provider was enmeshed in the breast cancer fight when they weren’t actually doing mammograms. I look at this as smart stewardship.”
Americans United for Life has, for the past year, aggressively pushed Congress to end Planned Parenthood’s federal funding. It has also drafted model legislation that states can use to bar abortion providers from receiving federal funds. Nine states have passed such laws, although the Obama administration has blocked their implementation.
Yoest hopes that the Komen decision is the beginning of a similar push, on the private side, to curtail Planned Parenthood’s funding, although she does not expect other funders to get on board overnight.
“We’ll be looking at their other supporters,” she said. “Let’s be honest, they’ve been very fashionable amongst a certain philanthropic set. I hope that this is a beginning of people re-looking at associations with the nation’s largest abortion provider.”
As those critical of the decision have shown their support of Planned Parenthood — it raised $400,000 in the 24 hours after the Komen decision — Yoest says the anti-abortion community is exploring ways to support the group. Her group will, for the first time, have a team in the District of Columbia Race for the Cure, called “Team Life.” Yoest, a marathoner, ran the race about a decade ago, but stopped after learning of Komen’s affiliation with Planned Parenthood.
“Yesterday we were looking at Komen’s Web site and how we can interact with them,” she says. “I want them to get as much of the benefit as possible. We’ll have T-shirts and a pasta dinner. I’ve run in a couple of marathons. That’s why I always wanted to be a part of their great work.”
- Komen foundation blasted for cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood (thehill.com)
- Furor Erupts Over Susan G. Komen Halt Of Grants To Planned Parenthood – NPR (blog) (npr.org)
- Reactions heated to Planned Parenthood-Komen rift (ctv.ca)
- Busting Through the Media Firestorm: 6 Essential Facts About the Komen Controversy (alternet.org)