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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

If you've been donating to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, it's time to stop
Posted by Jill | 7:44 PM
I became disenchanted with the Komen Foundation a while ago. I'm quite sure that when Susan Komen's sister decided to memorialize her by creating a foundation to find a cure for breast cancer, she had all good intentions. But the Komen Foundation has become a Frankenstein monster of a nonprofit. Between spending money on lawsuits against other organizations that use the word "cure" and spending only 19% of its budget on actual research (with 37% for "education", 5% for treatment, and 12% for screening, along with 27% for overhead, which presumably includes all those address labels and other swag with which they mutsche you all year long), the Komen Foundation is right up there with the World Wildlife Fund and other major-maga-nonprofits that spend only a fraction of their budgets on their stated mission. But every year, there's the races and the pink M&Ms and the baseball teams wearing pink cleats -- all to make you think of the branding of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

But in case this isn't enough to make you shut your wallet, perhaps this will be:
The nation’s leading breast-cancer charity, Dallas-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates — creating a bitter rift, linked to the abortion debate, between two iconic organizations that have assisted millions of women.

The change will mean a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.

Planned Parenthood says the move results from Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists. Komen says the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress — a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups.


Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said the cutoff results from the charity’s newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. According to Komen, this applies to Planned Parenthood because it’s the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., seeking to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has depicted Stearns’ probe as politically motivated and said she was dismayed that it had contributed to Komen’s decision to halt the grants to PPFA affiliates.

“It’s hard to understand how an organization with whom we share a mission of saving women’s lives could have bowed to this kind of bullying,” Richards told The Associated Press. “It’s really hurtful.”

But before you start sympathizing with the Komen Foundation, trapped in a policy that's being taken unfair advantage of, consider this: As John Aravosis points out, last hear the the Susan G. Komen Foundation hired Karen Handel, Georgia's anti-Planned Parenthood Secretary of State, to be its Senior Vice President for Public Policy. And now, lo and behold, the Komen Foundation will no longer fund BREAST EXAMS at Planned Parenthood. Yes, you read that right. This foundation that's supposed to be all about breast cancer is doing its part to ensure that low-income women do not have access to the kinds of early detection examinations that could save lives.

Handel is an anti-abortion activist whose election platform was about cutting off Planned Parenthood. Here's what Handel said in 2010 about Planned Parenthood (emphasis mine):
My opponents have recently recycled old attacks against me concerning Fulton County’s funding of some programs through Planned Parenthood. They are doing so without providing any context and continue to omit several key and important facts. First, let me be clear, since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood. During my time as Chairman of Fulton County, there were federal and state pass-through grants that were awarded to Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as a “Healthy Babies Initiative.” The grant was authorized, regulated, administered and distributed through the State of Georgia. Because of the criteria, regulations and parameters of the grant, Planned Parenthood was the only eligible vendor approved to meet the state criteria. Additionally, none of the services in any way involved abortions or abortion-related services. In fact, state and federal law prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for abortions or abortion related services and I strongly support those laws. Since grants like these are from the state I’ll eliminate them as your next Governor.

Yup. The feds made her do it. But now that she's inside an organization that provided money FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH CARE at Planned Parenthood, she's yanked the funding.

So in case you've been donating to the Komen Foundtion, perhaps you'd want to reconsider. CharityWatch gives the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded by the late Evelyn Lauder, an A+ rating and the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund an A rating. Neither of those is looking to de-fund Planned Parenthood or to deny women health care in the name of ideology.

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Anonymous The Wifely Person said...
The Komen machine has been veering violently off course for a long time now. They are a HUGE conglomerate partnering with anything that will get their name in the press regardless of the dubious health benefits of those endless tie-ins. Komen is BIG business and if you're first waking up to it, you have some catching up to do.

Even my survivor friends shy away from having anything to do with it.

Blogger Ahab said...
I'm disappointed to hear that Komen is turning its back on Planned Parenthood. Those grants could have done so much good.

Blogger Nan said...
I never bought into that pink ribbon crap. I always had the feeling the Foundation's primary goal was simply to perpetuate itself.

Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...
The Republicans have been running this create a fake scandal play more successfully than the Power Sweep of the Lombardi Green Bay Packers.

This is no different than when the Veterans of Foreign Wars supported Peter Roskam over Tammy Duckworth in my district in 2006. That would be Roskam, never served in the military, over Duckworth,a Veteran of a Foreign War who lost both legs in combat.

Right-wingers are despicable and shameless and Liberals would do well to remember this and ACORN and all the other attacks by conservative fanatics before ever deigning to cross the aisle and work with them

Anonymous patricia said...
It's already backfiring on them. Dump the pink ribbon crap. I'm sick of it. Actually, it's totally meaningless.