The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, the world’s largest breast cancer charity, has always been fairly conservative. Its founder, Nancy Brinker, is a major Republican donor; in 2000, she was a George W. Bush “Pioneer,” raising at least $100,000 for his campaign, and Bush later appointed her ambassador to Hungary.
Still, until recently, it wore its politics lightly. “The fact that Komen is led by a Republican has never really translated to the way it’s been perceived among women in this country,” says Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), who has chaired many Komen events. “It’s been perceived as a nonprofit doing good work.”
That changed on Tuesday, when the foundation announced that it would no longer fund breast cancer screenings by Planned Parenthood. The money at stake wasn’t much, less than $700,000. But its withdrawal sent a signal that Komen has taken sides in the Republican effort to discredit the country’s largest provider of reproductive health care.