Local Komen affiliate speaks on national controversy
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Volunteers with the Austin affiliate of Susan G. Komen are concerned that controversy between Planned Parenthood and Komen’s national branch could trickle down to the local level.
Earlier this year, the national Susan G. Komen foundation pulled its funding from Planned Parenthood, but thanks to immense public outcry, the foundation reversed its decision.
Deb Davis Groves is a volunteer for Komen's Austin branch. She’s a breast cancer survivor who wanted to help others dealing with the disease. Every Monday, she takes calls from women who are both insured and uninsured, and since the controversy erupted, she’s heard an earful.
"A lot of people don't understand what we're about. I certainly respect the emotion on both sides," she said.
Groves and others with Komen’s local chapter said they have been working hard to make sure donors and supporters don’t slip away. Groves wants to remind people that money raised through local races and other events stays right here in the community.
"If we don't make money, we don't meet the breast cancer needs in our community," she said.
The five-county area the local Komen affiliate reaches includes funding to 11 different nonprofits which help provide breast health services to uninsured and underinsured women.
Planned Parenthood is one of those nonprofits, along with El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission in South Austin. El Buen has received grant money from the local Komen branch the past four years--money that has helped hundreds of women navigate a path to breast care they couldn't otherwise afford.
"If what one of the outcomes is that people choose to stop supporting them, then the people aren't punishing Susan G. Komen, they're punishing human beings," Victor Azios with El Buen Samaritano said.
The Austin affiliate follows its own grant funding process, but is mandated to follow some national Susan G. Komen guidelines.
Since the Planned Parenthood decision was reversed, the Texas Capital Region chapter can resubmit its grant application.
Grants are awarded by an anonymous review panel.
The local Komen and Planned Parenthood organizations have had a partnership for the past six years.