The Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity has a new president and CEO, following the backlash it has faced after initially stopping funding to the Planned Parenthood abortion business and then reinstating funding days later.
However, it’s new president may cause more controversy for Komen, which is facing financial problems and cancelling events in the wake of the Planned Parenthood funding scandal.
The breast cancer charity named Judith A. Salerno to replace founder Nancy Brinker, whose promise to her dying sister begat a fundraising powerhouse that invested hundreds of millions of dollars in cancer research. Brinker announced last summer she would step down following an onslaught of criticism over Komen’s quickly reversed decision to stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings.
Salerno, 61, is executive director and chief operating officer of the Institute of Medicine, a prestigious independent group that advises the government and private sector about health and science.
“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,” Salerno said in a statement released by Komen.
Brinker, 67, announced in August that she would move from the CEO role, which she’d held since 2009, into a new one focused on fundraising and strategic planning.
In late 2011, the Dallas-based charity decided to halt grants to Planned Parenthood, which received about $680,000 that year. News of the move caused a torrent of questions about the decision and calls for its reversal, angering Komen supporters on both sides of the abortion debate.
Three days after the initial disclosure, Komen reversed its course, which led to more harsh criticism, this time from abortion opponents accusing the charity of caving to public pressure.
Karen Handel, the group’s vice president and a conservative, resigned the following week and later wrote a blistering account of the episode entitled “Planned Bullyhood.”
As if the Planned Parenthood funding controversy wasn’t bad enough, Salerno headed the Institute of Medicine, which approved the Obama HHS mandate that forces religious groups to funds birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.
As LifeNews reported in February 2012, the committee that made the recommendation to the Obama administration to adopt its new controversial health care mandate and found the panel is dominated by pro-abortion groups.
According to Human Life International, “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.”
“The IOM members below have strong relationships with both Planned Parenthood and NARAL, and have actively supported pro-abortion candidates for public office,” the pro-life group adds. “This is by no means an exhaustive list of the involvement of the IOM committee members in pro-choice advocacy groups and pro-choice political campaigns. But these eleven members—out of a total of fifteen—demonstrate a more than casual commitment to the furthering of the abortion lobby.”
HLI determined that “not a single member of the committee has financially supported a pro-life candidate.”
The Institute of Medicine recommendation, opposed by pro-life groups, called for the Obama administration to require insurance programs to include birth control — such as the morning after pill or the ella drug that causes an abortion days after conception — in the section of drugs and services insurance plans must cover under “preventative care.” The companies will likely pass the added costs on to consumers, requiring them to pay for birth control and, in some instances, drug-induced abortions of unborn children in their earliest days.
The HHS accepted the IOM guidelines that “require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services” and those services include “FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling” — which include birth control drugs like Plan B and ella that can cause abortions. The Health and Human Services Department commissioned the report from the Institute, which advises the federal government and shut out pro-life groups in meetings leading up to the recommendations.