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Editor's note: This is not today's only article on Komen and Planned Parenthood. In addition to our news report, you might also enjoy Matthew Lee Anderson's examination of "The Politics of Breast Cancer," Mollie Ziegler Hemingway's look at "The Komen Fiasco's Silver Lining," and Russell Moore's warning on "the wrong lessons to draw from the Komen-Planned Parenthood debacle."

Crash and burn. The policy reversal by the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, which now means that its funding of Planned Parenthood will continue, is nothing less than a public relations disaster for the organization. More than that, the decision reveals a basic lack of moral conviction when it comes to the Planned Parenthood issue—and that is a story unto itself.

Just days ago, faced with growing controversy, Komen sought to break its relationship with Planned Parenthood, to which it had provided an annual grant of $700,000 for breast cancer screenings. Komen did not state the decision in these terms, of course, but instead described the decision in terms of a new policy not to fund any organization under legal investigation. It just so happens that Planned Parenthood is currently the focus of a congressional investigation.

For years, Komen has established a reputation as the nation's leading advocacy group dedicated to fighting the tragedy of breast cancer. It has made the color pink synonymous with the issue, and it has protected its turf energetically. Bridges, skyscrapers, and waterways have been turned pink in order to bring attention and funding to the fight against breast cancer deaths.

But breast cancer is not an isolated issue, and the group's funding of breast cancer screenings by Planned Parenthood could never be kept morally isolated ...

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February 2012

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