On June 17th, Nancy Brinker, the sister of Susan Komen and the founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, lost her job as CEO of the organization as a result of attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. She has been replaced by a woman who led an organization that has been involved in the development of ObamaCare and the HHS contraceptives mandate.
Brinker follows Karen Handel, who is now a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Georgia, and Liz Thompson.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure named Dr. Judith Salerno as its new president and chief executive last week. Salerno served as chief executive and chief operating officer of the Institute of Medicine, the organization that is responsible for providing medical “approval” for the HHS mandate, a rule in ObamaCare that forces employers to provide free contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs to employees through health insurance.
Salerno takes the helm of the breast cancer charity during a controversial period in which Komen faces financial difficulties that led to the cancellation of half of its Races for the Cure due to a severe drop in participation. Last year, the Komen Foundation decided to withhold more than half a million dollars in annual funding from Planned Parenthood. Following a backlash from pro-abortion supporters, however, then-Komen CEO Brinker restored funding three days later. Her reversal led to sharp criticism from the pro-life community and those who do not wish their donations to support Planned Parenthood.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), which claims to be an “independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public,” has also had its share of controversy. In February of 2012, LifeNews reported that Human Life International- America, part of a global pro-life organization, observed:
Through a search of public records, HLI America has been able to substantiate the claim that members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee who wrote Recommendation 5.5 have ideological commitments that raise serious questions about the supposed objectivity with which they considered the scientific evidence that led to their recommendation that the HHS mandate contraception and sterilization coverage as “preventive care.”
According to LifeNews, HLI America noted the names of IOM members who “have strong relationships with both Planned Parenthood and NARAL, and have actively supported pro-abortion candidates for public office.”
The organization named, among others, Claire Brindis, member of the Board of Directors of and donor to NARAL; Angela Diaz, former board member of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health; Francisco Garcia, who has donated between $11,750 and $13,000 to candidates that support abortion since 2004, including Barack Obama; Kimberly Gregory, who donated $35,200 in support of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Paula A. Johnson, chairwoman of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, affiliate of National Organization for Women (NOW), and 2011 winner of NARAL’s “Champion for Choice” award.
Arland Nichols, National Director of HLI America, wrote in 2011:
The decision by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to mandate coverage of contraception and sterilization is troubling. From unjust discrimination against those who find sterilization or contraception to be morally offensive, to the increasing health costs that this Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendation will bring, the ramifications of the HHS guideline are far-reaching. Perhaps most startling, however, is the way that the HHS, along with the IOM, has blatantly misled the nation. With the support of inadequate research, these organizations have foisted a policy upon the country that has little to do with protecting the health of the population. Instead, by gathering a committee of aggressively pro-choice advocates, and by hiding behind a shroud of purported scientific objectivity, they have pushed a “health” program that actually furthers a radical political agenda. Such partisanship is not shocking, of course, and would warrant little comment if the effects were less universal or severe.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Andrea Rader, spokeswoman for Komen, declined to disclose Salerno’s compensation for her new position. Former CEO Brinker will now become a goodwill ambassador and head fundraiser and will report to Salerno.
The Associated Press reports that Salerno, 61, provided a statement released by Komen:
Komen’s commitment has helped countless numbers of low-income and medically underserved women and men get care they might otherwise have gone without, and Komen’s research program is one of the most highly respected in the nation.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Salerno “leans Democratic” and has donated to the campaigns of both Barack Obama and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). The news outlet also reports that Salerno’s Twitter account suggests she followed politics closely in 2012, tweeting on October 11th during the vice-presidential debate, “Go Joe! Biden is whooping the Wonk from Wisconsin…by telling the truth.”
During the presidential debate on Oct. 16th, Salerno reportedly tweeted, “Romney response on fair pay for women was so condescending. Glad he is a father of boys, not girls.”
Austin Ruse, president of C-FAM (Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute) wrote in Crisis Magazine that he had attempted to help Brinker stay the course with the decision to defund Planned Parenthood, but to no avail.
Regarding the Komen upheaval, Ruse wrote:
What this whole mess shows abundantly is that the pro-choice wing of theDemocratic Party cares more about abortion than saving women’s lives.The Komen grants of a few million dollars were a tiny drop in PlannedParenthood’s billion dollar bucket and the amount was immediatelyreplaced by other donors. What this whole thing shows is what most of ushave believed all along. In some profoundly strange way, to someabortion is a sacrament and all heretics to that orthodoxy are to beburned at the stake. Abortion über alles.