Komen Charity Forgot Who Its Contributors Were


Nancy Brinker resigns from Komen: Does the CEO’s departure even matter for the breast cancer organization?

Part of why Komen is likely to fail at picking up the pieces is that the entire battle exposed some tensions in its base of support—tensions that had largely been minimized by the genuine desire of a broad coalition to fight breast cancer. Part of what made the organization such a behemoth is that Komen was able to put together the traditional supporters of women’s health care, who are pro-choice and have feminist leanings, with more conservative women who had previously been afraid of the immodest implications of talking openly about breast health. They did this by pointedly desexualizing the issue in a sea of pink ribbons and teddy bears, something the more feminist supporters could ignore because of the greater good. Prior to the Planned Parenthood debacle, Komen seemed largely apolitical—not outwardly judging those of us who want comprehensive health care that includes an adult understanding that people are going to have sex. By crossing that line, they forced their supporters into a sluts vs. church ladies battle. Now the feminist side perceives the organization as swarming with prigs whose support for your health stops as soon as they know you’ve touched a penis, and a handful of prominent resignations can’t really do much to change that.

Nancy Brinker resigns from Komen: Does the CEO’s departure even matter for the breast cancer organization?

Was it ethical for Komen to embrace right wing politics and cut off funding to one of the most prominent sources of women’s health care? Apparently a great number of Komen’s event participants and contributors believe the organization’s decision was at odds with their own moral beliefs. What is interesting here is how Komen so misunderstood its base. Isn’t that one of the fundamental rules of any business organization – that you should understand who your “customers” are. By any measure, Komen failed this rule and the organization may never recover.

James Pilant

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More Evidence that the Susan G. Komen’s Decision to Cut Off Planned Parenthood was Political


I have written recently that I believed that the decision to defund Planned Parenthood was motivated by politics. It appears that my belief in the politicalization of the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s grant giving is well justified. Read this from Jeffrey Goldberg writing for The Atlantic.

Top Susan G. Komen Official Resigned Over Planned Parenthood Cave-In – Jeffrey Goldberg – Health – The Atlantic

But three sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process told me that the rule was adopted in order to create an excuse to cut off Planned Parenthood. (Komen gives out grants to roughly 2,000 organizations, and the new “no investigations” rule applies to only one so far.) The decision to create a rule that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood, according to these sources, was driven by the organization’s new senior vice president for public policy, Karen Handel, a former gubernatorial candidate from Georgia who is staunchly anti-abortion and who has said that since she is “pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.” (The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood did not pay for abortion or contraception services, only cancer detection, according to all parties involved.) I’ve tried to reach Handel for comment, and will update this post if I speak with her.

Top Susan G. Komen Official Resigned Over Planned Parenthood Cave-In – Jeffrey Goldberg – Health – The Atlantic

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Komen Backs Off and We’re Supposed to Forgive and Forget?


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Komen Apologizes; Pledges To Continue Planned Parenthood Grants | Crooks and Liars

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

Komen Apologizes; Pledges To Continue Planned Parenthood Grants | Crooks and Liars

Wow, I should be impressed except I’m not.

The organization has already provided solid evidence that women’s health is not their first concern. They have only reversed their decision based on politics. And be clear, they backed down on this particular issue but it is only a temporary setback for their anti-Planned Parenthood stance and their move toward anti-abortion politics.

Think of all the different ways through other grants and political pressure that they can influence the future of women’s health in this country and in the world. They gave up on this point under political pressure but can it be more obvious what the future stance of the organization is going to be? This is not victory for women’s health or a defeat for their organization. It is a truce to allow them to regroup and fight another day.

I want you to read the brief excerpt above. Notice the phrase “disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.” I can drive an ocean liner through that exception. How many district attorneys are there in the United States – just a few thousand? So, all we to do to disqualify Planned Parenthood again is to have one of these district attorney conduct a “criminal” investigation. Now you might object that doesn’t consider the word, “conclusive,” which of course means a conviction. Except that it doesn’t. If they had wanted a conviction to be necessary to disqualify an organization, they would have used that word. I’ll tell you what the word, conclusive means in that sentence – anything they want it to.

From now on they will act to defund Planned Parenthood and services to poor women and we know they will because they have already by their actions demonstrated their intent. If they intended to really reverse the policy decisions of the last few days, there would be firings and changes in personnel at the top of the organization. Do you see any?

One of the most disturbing elements of this whole affair is how stupid the Susan G. Komen Foundation leadership believes the public are. They cut off Planned Parenthood on the most spurious of grounds (a Congressional investigation) against a background of Republican donations and the hiring of a stalwart in the anti-abortion movement. Then they tell us it was non-political. Look at the phrasing of their press release . They claim they were only fulfilling their “fiduciary” duty by cutting off the organization. First, I think they used the word merely because it was multisyllabic and sounded legal. Second, I have to wonder if it was their fiduciary duty to cut off Planned Parenthood what happened between yesterday and today that nullified that duty? Fiduciary responsibilities are not optional, they are binding.

I still believe that giving money to the Susan G. Komen Foundation is a questionable decision based on the events of the last few days. I believe if you look at the evidence you will come to the same conclusion.

James Pilant

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Cry Me A Freaking River! Says Karen Handel


Daily Kos: Komen Foundation official deletes evidence of anti-choice bias from Twitter

The Susan G. Komen Foundation, and its senior vice president of public policy, Karen Handel, who is “staunchly and unequivocally pro-life,” have been getting beat up pretty bad for the blatantly political decision to stop funding cancer screen and prevention at Planned Parenthood.

It appears that yesterday, Handel signed on to the “cry me a freaking river” sentiment on Twitter that anti-choicers are gleefully expressing because nothing makes them happier than women dying of cancer if it means sticking it to the nation’s biggest provider of health care to women.

Daily Kos: Komen Foundation official deletes evidence of anti-choice bias from Twitter

Here’s the tweet –

tweet

Apparently cutting women off from health care shouldn’t evoke emotions. I disagree. The tragedy of underserved populations unable to get breast exams and other care is a tragedy.

Since the organization has serious qualms about actually pursuing it goals of preventing breast cancer, it is only logical that giving to the organization is a poor move if that is your concern.

I further suggest that wearing a pink ribbon is a sign of support for an organization that has lost its way, and lacks the courage to act in support of women’s rights.

Perhaps, a different color ribbon signifying actual committment?

James Pilant

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Stop Giving to the Susan G. Komen Foundation!


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Since the Foundation canceled a grant program of $700,000 a year specifically designed to pay for underserved populations breast exams, we can only assume they have decided that political action against Planned Parenthood is much more important than fighting breast cancer. Since the organization has now defunded thousands of breast exams for poor women, we can only assume that they have only a limited interest in fighting disease.

Join the Facebook Group to De-Fund SGKF

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