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Pink? No! Susan G. Komen Foundation Should Be Red – With Shame!

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I’ve worn the pink ribbons. I’ve supported friends on the walks. I’ve made straight-up monetary donations. No more. Done. Sorry, Susan G. Komen Foundation, you’ve just lost an ardent supporter. And it’s too bad, because the organization has done some very good things, and dear friends—cancer survivors, all—have benefited from its good works. But from now on, my donation money will go to Planned Parenthood.

The Komen Foundation has made a huge error in judgment this week by pulling its financial support from Planned Parenthood. The foundation has given $700,000 annually to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening, mammograms and counseling to poor women.

The decision is clearly one influenced by the increased pressure on the Komen Foundation by voices on the religious Right, which oppose contraception and abortion services provided by the organization. The outcry on the Internet, from blogs, to Facebook Petitions, to Twitter appeals was instantaneous and vocal.

Komen leaders have tried to explain away the decision as non-political, but with very little success. Trying to rationalize the decision because the organization cannot fund groups “under investigation,” is specious at best. A lame excuse. Yes, Planned Parenthood is “under investigation.” But only because there are some uninformed, possibly misogynistic, ideologues in Congress who want to see Planned Parenthood gone—dead and buried.

 Well, this cannot turn out well for the Race for the Cure people, whose “pink” campaign has tapped into the public consciousness over the years, from pink jewelry to pink yogurt containers. Even New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged to help Planned Parenthood recoup the loss of much-needed funds. This was just bad, politically motivated policy. Full Stop.

I feel bad that I will have to say “no” when one of my friends or colleagues asks me to sponsor her in this year’s local Komen event. I never did like pink, anyway.

 

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • Cancer strikes everyone

    Shame on you komen foundation, for putting political ties above women,,,,

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good of you to write on this subject, Barbara. Democracy Now! today’s show was devoted to this topic. You might want to look it up and post a link if you think appropriate.

  • http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark Richard Marcus

    Thanks Barbara – we need more people telling these types of stories so that people can see how the fight against women’s rights is being waged. It’s not being done openly anymore, which make it all the more dangerous.

    You might want to check out this review of a new documentary about the whole Pink Ribbon campaign. The movie is by those great people at the National Film Board of Canada.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    It looks like this scandal’s been brewing for a little while:

    It wasn’t until 2008 that the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, a 501(c)3, founded the Susan G. Komen For The Cure Advocacy Alliance, a 501(c)4 non-profit that, under IRS rules, can spend unlimited donor funds on lobbying. It’s that arm of the Komen Foundation that former Secretary of State and failed gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel (R-GA) was hired to run in April 2011, despite being once investigated for issuing voter ID regulations that the Department of Justice determined to be discriminatory against non-white voters. She’d been serving “as a consultant” to the organization since January 2011.

    Before Handel’s hiring, Komen’s lobbying shop was staunchly Democratic – from its head to its hired guns, former Democratic aides did most of the heavy lifting on everything from the breast cancer stamp to breast cancer research to its advocacy on the health care bill. And when their lead lobbyist, former Democratic staffer Jennifer Luray, quietly left in 2010, she took with her a six-figure severance package not in keeping with an employee that just found a new job.

    But, according to lobbying disclosure records filed with the House of Representatives, Luray ended her tenure as a lobbyist with Komen in the third quarter of 2010, joining pharmaceutical device manufacturers Becton, Dickinson & Co. instead. IRS filings by Komen indicate she was given a $134,000 severance package upon her departure, which was almost a full year’s salary.

    Savvy observers might recall that one of the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association also got a year’s salary, equivalent to $35,000 – and a non-disclosure agreement prohibiting her from discussing the matter. Neither Luray nor the members of the Komen Advocacy Alliance Board responded to inquiries by press time. But American League of Lobbyists president Howard Marlowe told Raw Story that “usually [severance packages] don’t last that long,” even when people are offered them.

    (end of paste)

    I smell a rat….

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    Thanks, everyone for your contributions to the discussion. I’ve read about Handel and her political axes.

    this is just all simply appalling (if not a bit frightening)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Breaking news: funding of Planned Parenthood reinstated.

  • http://insomniacentertainment.com Luigi Bastardo

    Good news indeed, Roger. A shame Ms. Komen had to give in to the political pressure to begin with, though — she lost more respect from those who actually benefit from Planned Parenthood than she would have lost in funding from the religious nutjobs who have no idea what the organization really does.

    I saw a graph on Facebook (how accurate is that, right?) that said Planned Parenthood’s abortion/prevention services only make up for 3% of the group.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I have no idea what possessed her to yield to the far Right rhetoric, but you’re right, her reputation has suffered.

  • kody

    “The mass of Negroes, particularly in the South, still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes, even more than among whites, is from the portion of the population lease intelligent and fit, and least able to rear children properly,” said Margaret Sanger, founder the abortion mill Planned Parenthood Federation of America. man what a good organization.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I suppose she was trying to accommodate people like our kody here, a hulluva testimonial to the white folks’ interbred and homegrown supremacy.

  • Baronius

    So, caving in to political pressure from the left is somehow more noble?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t know whom you are addressing, but caving in to political pressure from the right is not a virtue either.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Baronius, I rather think Komen caved to pressure more from its members and supporters than from the political left.

    The foundation made a massive error of judgment through cowardice, which rarely equips people to do the right thing. It has now rectified that. I accept its apology at face value, although it was lukewarm: too much so, apparently, for some people’s liking.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Kody:

    Alexander Graham Bell was a eugenicist. Perhaps you should cancel your phone service.

    James H. Watson and Francis Crick were eugenicists. If you ever become seriously ill, you’re going to need to refuse any genetic therapies.

    Theodore Roosevelt was a eugenicist. You probably shouldn’t ever vote for the Republican Party.

    Woodrow Wilson was a eugenicist. I guess you can’t vote Democratic either. Now you’re screwed!

    H.G. Wells was a eugenicist. If you own any of his books you should probably burn them, or if you’ve ever seen The War of the Worlds I’m afraid you may have to gouge your own eyes out.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    ” … massive error of judgment through cowardice …”

    Nice depiction.

  • ataylor

    This info is on the local Komen website — read it and consider what they have lost by trying to be political:
    “A brand to trust: We are honored that Susan G. Komen for the Cure® ranked number one in a recent Harris Interactive poll as the most valued non-profit brand and the charity people are most likely to donate money to. Additionally, Komen for the Cure ranked second on the 2010 list of the nation’s most trusted charities. Thank you to all who help us daily in the fight to end breast cancer!”

  • Clavos

    @ #s 7 & 8:

    Guys,

    Susan G.Komen died back in 1980 of breast cancer. The foundation was started by her sister, Nancy Brinker,in her memory.

  • Mark

    What is dishonest, is an organization pretending to be about breast cancer funding abortions. They should have been shut down. If you dumbasses wanted to support planned parenthood, make a direct donation to that. If they are going to operate with the public display of fighting breast cancer, they shouldn’t be funding planned parenthood. So yeah… shame on Susan G. Komen. The only good thing to happen because of this is that so many will not give money to this dishonest organization.