AAUW Cancels Service Learning Event with Susan G. Komen Foundation
WASHINGTON–The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is disappointed with the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to strip funding for cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood. As a result, AAUW will not offer the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure as an optional pre-conference community service opportunity at the upcomingNational Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL). NCCWSL is an annual leadership event, now in its 27th year, attended by hundreds of college women from across the nation.
“This is an opportunity for AAUW to demonstrate leadership on a vital women’s health issue: cancer screenings and mammograms for poor and underserved women,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “Taking a stand now is an excellent example of what the NCCWSL conference is all about: empowering college women as leaders and informed decision makers.”
To its credit, Komen has made advances in women’s health. This optional service learning activity has been part of previous conferences.
“AAUW is disappointed that some are playing politics with women’s health and jeopardizing care for the most vulnerable among us,” said Lisa Maatz, AAUW director of public policy and government relations.
AAUW’s long-held position on health care is clear. The member-adopted Public Policy Program makes “increased access to quality, affordable health care and family planning services” a priority.
AAUW hopes that Planned Parenthood and the Komen Foundation, both iconic organizations well known for their efforts to improve and advance women’s health, can come to an agreement to restore this critically needed funding. Planned Parenthood health centers provide a wide range of safe, reliable health care, more than 90 percent of which is preventive, primary care. These clinics are often the only source of medical care for their patients, providing access to contraception, reducing sexually transmitted infections through testing and treatment, and screening for breast, cervical, and other cancers.
“This is a regrettable situation for all concerned but exactly the kind of circumstance in which we must strongly adhere to our principles. Those principles have guided us well for more than 130 years,” Hallman said.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Since 1881, AAUW has been one of the nation’s leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls. AAUW has a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors, 1,000 branches, and 600 college/university institutional partners. Since AAUW’s founding 130 years ago, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW’s commitment to educational equity is reflected in its public policy advocacy, community programs, leadership development, conventions and conferences, national partnerships, and international connections.