A Brief, Non-Political Reflection on the Komen/Planned Parenthood Situation

planned_parenthoodI don’t plan to use this blog as a political forum, so fear not – this post has nothing to do with my personal opinions on the missions of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood organizations. In addition, I admittedly haven’t read every word written on this subject so I’m speaking a bit off the cuff.

Having said that, as a professional evaluator, I did have a fairly immediate reaction to recent news reports of the Komen Foundation’s decision (and subsequent about-face) to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

As I watched article after article pop up in the media, my main question was this: where were the data? The reports, quite frankly, left me with more questions than answers. Questions like these:

  • Were Planned Parenthood offices not performing in compliance with their grant awards?
  • How did their performance stack up to other Komen grantees?
  • What was Komen’s history in funding organizations under investigation?
  • Just what were the revisions to the grant-making criteria, and why were these changes made?

With all those points unaddressed, I didn’t have a clue as to why Komen made their decision. I suspect that someone along the way suggested that the public wouldn’t be interested in the pesky details…and that was a mistake, in my opinion.

As a society, we’ve become more demanding for accountability, both among those who receive funds as well as those who distribute them. Regardless of which role you serve, evidence counts.