Susan G. Komen Smoking Gun? Breast Cancer Awareness Semiautomatic Pistol Surfaces Amid Planned Parenthood Controversy

on February 03 2012 11:52 AM

Update: 11:58 a.m.: The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has reversed its decision to defund Planned Parenthood.

We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives, president and founder Nancy Brinker said in a statement Friday. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.

The Susan G. Komen foundation has come under fire for withdrawing its support of Planned Parenthood -- and things are about to get a lot worse for the Breast Cancer Awareness advocacy group, due to the discovery of the Walther P-22 Hope Edition handgun with Susan G. Komen's signature pink all over it.

The Wisconsin Gazette discovered the promotional weapon on the Discount Gun Sales website. According to the handgun's online catalog entry, the firearm retailer is proud to team up with the Susan B. Koman Foundation to offer the Walther P-22 Hope Edition in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The P-22 Hope Edition has an exclusive DuraCoat Pink slide in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Utilizing the same reliable controls and firing mechanism that has made the Walther P-22 America's top selling handgun, the Hope Edition will be a limited production pistol offered exclusively through Discount Gun Sales.

The gun retails for $429.99, with an undisclosed portion of each sale earmarked for the Seattle branch of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure.

The foundation recently withdrew its support of Planned Parenthood -- which provides free and low-cost cancer screenings for at-risk women -- citing a new policy that prohibits the nonprofit from supplying grants to organizations that are currently under investigation. (Rep. Cliff Stearns initiated a Congressional investigation in September to determine if Planned Parenthood misallocated its resources in using public money to fund abortions.)

On Thursday, the Atlantic published a report citing multiple sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process who believed that the new policy was created specifically to provide an explanation for the foundation's decision to withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood. The real reason, according to these sources, was the anti-abortion position of Komen's new senior vice president for public policy, Karen Handel, along with pressure from outside conservative groups.

Top Komen executive Molly Williams resigned to protest the defunding decision. New York City Major Bloomberg has called for public donations to Planned Parenthood with a pledge that he will match every dollar donated up to $250,000.

Politics have no place in health care, the mayor said in a statement. Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care. We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way.

The Susan B. Komen for the Cure Foundation had previously granted roughtly $700,000 a year in funding to Planned Parenthood to support cancer screening and prevention programs.

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