forum Politics and Society ›› De-funding Planned Parenthood ›› new reply Post Reply
Jason Voorheees

dogfood meatballs
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February 2 2012 8:01 PM   QuickQuote Quote  

A police officer watches pro-life and pro-choice supporters demonstrating to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision in Washington, January 24, 2011.

Komen struggles to defuse Planned Parenthood crisis

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON | Thu Feb 2, 2012 7:01pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The world's leading breast cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, struggled on Thursday to defuse a growing crisis over its decision to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion and birth control services.

The sudden rift between the two top U.S. women's health advocacy groups triggered a furious debate on social media sites between supporters and opponents of abortion rights.

Democratic lawmakers called on Komen to reconsider its move as the organization was thrust into the center of an intractable dispute that some say will hamper its work for years to come [ID:nL2E8D2HHA]. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged his own money to help Planned Parenthood recoup the lost funds.

Planned Parenthood had received about $700,000 annually from Komen to provide poor women with breast cancer screening, education and access to affordable mammograms.

As the outcry intensified, Komen founder Nancy Brinker took to national television and the Internet to deny the charity's decision was the result of lobbying from anti-abortion groups.

"We will never bow to political pressure," she said in a video posted on the Komen website.

"The scurrilous accusations being hurled at this organization are profoundly hurtful to so many of us," said Brinker, who founded the group following her sister's death in 1980 of breast cancer. "More importantly, they are a dangerous distraction from the work that still remains to be done in ridding the world of breast cancer."

But philanthropy experts said it will be difficult for Komen to convince people it wasn't playing politics.

"There's a long-term weakening of the Susan G. Komen brand from this decision," said Melissa Berman, chief executive of nonprofit Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, which counsels wealthy donors who give more $200 million a year.

"We would see donors reluctant to be involved with a charity whose decision-making gets influenced by short-term pressures and politics because you would always wonder who is really in charge."

The Komen foundation, known for its pink ribbon symbol and Race for the Cure fundraisers, has collected more than $1.9 billion for breast cancer research and programs. It has affiliates in more than 100 U.S. cities and 50 countries.

Komen said its decision reflects a move to eliminate duplicate grants and tighten eligibility rules. That includes barring money to groups under investigation by authorities. Planned Parenthood is the subject of a probe by U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican who opposes abortion.


On Facebook and Twitter, Americans expressed anger that a widely supported cancer charity appeared to have taken sides in the polarizing debate.

"Susan Komen would not give in to bullies or fear. Too bad the foundation bearing her name did," writer Judy Blume, known for her books on girls growing up, said via Twitter. Democrats in the U.S. Senate urged Komen to reconsider.

"It would be tragic if any woman, let alone thousands of women, lost access to these potentially life-saving screenings because of a politically motivated attack," more than 20 U.S. Democratic senators said in a letter due to be sent later on Thursday.

Activists on both sides of the abortion debate cited evidence of a political shift within Komen.

Abortion rights advocates saw it as part of a turn toward the right. Brinker served as an ambassador to Hungary under President George W. Bush. In 2011, she appointed Republican Karen Handel to a senior policy position with the foundation.

Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, ran unsuccessfully for state governor in 2010 on a platform that called for defunding Planned Parenthood.

Brinker "is overseeing a fundamental transformation of her organization. It has become a political organization. It is no longer an organization whose mission is to advance women's health," said Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women.

Jeanne Monahan of the conservative Christian group, Family Research Council, described some of the pressures Komen faced.

"Groups didn't even know there was a formal relationship between Planned Parenthood and Komen until the last few years, and Komen got a lot of negative feedback about that from people who are right to life," she said.

About 15,000 anti-abortion activists sent e-mails to Komen in support of its decision, FRC said.

There were signs of dissent within Komen's ranks. Media reports said the Komen foundation's top public health official, Mollie Williams, had resigned after the decision was made in December. Williams declined to comment on her exit because of a confidentiality agreement with Komen.

"The divide between these two very important organizations saddens me," she said in an e-mail. "I am hopeful their passionate and courageous leaders ... can swiftly resolve this conflict in a manner that benefits the women they both serve."


Planned Parenthood, already barred from using federal funds to provide abortions, has seen the U.S. tax dollars it still receives for family aid to poor women come under intensifying Republican scrutiny in Congress.

"Politics have no place in health care. Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care," Bloomberg said in a statement, pledging $250,000 to the group.

Planned Parenthood has also come under attack from lawmakers in several states over the past year, including North Carolina, Indiana and Kansas, who have attempted to block state funding.

In Kansas some local prosecutors are pressing criminal charges against Planned Parenthood, alleging it failed to maintain paperwork related to the abortions it provided.

Brinker told cable TV news network MSNBC that Planned Parenthood had lost funding partly because existing programs did not meet Komen's new standards. She did not elaborate.

But there appeared to be little that Komen officials could say to dispel the disappointment of many supporters.

"They're the march, they're the walk, they're the pink yogurt lid. Most people, when they say breast cancer, they think Race for the Cure or Komen," said Cindy Pearson, executive director of the advocacy group, National Women's Health Network.

"Komen now has put itself into a place where they're no longer looked at as the administrator for our shared dreams and hopes."

(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols in New York and Anna Yukhananov in Washington;
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February 2 2012 11:21 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
The backlash to this SGK decision is great.
Brett Weir
im gay
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February 2 2012 11:23 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
Originally posted by: Dianana

The backlash to this SGK decision is great.

47,232 Posts

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February 3 2012 12:42 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
abortions for some, miniature american flags for others
get low
12,901 Posts

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February 3 2012 3:04 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
so now sgk is simply the world's leading provider of pink colored household items and brinker's pockets stay fat.
sees air
15,543 Posts

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February 3 2012 7:22 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
just kill everyone
Baby Cole is gay
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February 3 2012 7:32 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
Originally posted by: blackeyes

abortions for some, miniature american flags for all

Richard the 3rd
rock the casbah
84 Posts

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February 3 2012 7:35 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
face it, no matter your stance (im incredilby pro choice) that abortion will always be here, and its safer keeping it safe and legal so vulnerable woman dont go to back street abortion clinics and get fucked up phyiscally and emotionally
66,460 Posts

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February 3 2012 11:42 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
AHA, those fuckers got the point and are funding PP again.
Brendan Masi
278 Posts

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February 3 2012 11:43 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
Originally posted by: deadlift

just kill everyone

Tim E. Husk
slavar som djur
19,110 Posts

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February 3 2012 11:43 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
Originally posted by: Kermit Butts

Originally posted by: Dianana

The backlash to this SGK decision is great.

For so many reasons.
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February 3 2012 11:49 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
Funny enough, the damage is already done and they've lost a ton of support over this bullshit.
Tim E. Husk
slavar som djur
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February 3 2012 12:01 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
It's an odd scenario all around - their marketing behemoth has turned breast cancer into on the biggest causes of all time, at least financially, which is per se fine. However, there have been studies that show all of the money they have made and donated to research haven't made any real improvements.

Given that breast cancer is not one of the worse cancers as far as mortality and quality of life for survivors (particularly with screening, which this whole fiasco revolves around), it is a testament to marketing, branding, and mass participation that they've managed to raise so much money.
Brendan Masi
278 Posts

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February 3 2012 12:02 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
yeah but they make football players wear pink gloves.
Fuck Nazis.
24,526 Posts

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February 3 2012 1:55 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
Yeah, but... boobs.
Jason Voorheees
dogfood meatballs
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February 3 2012 3:42 PM   QuickQuote Quote  

February 3, 2012 11:28 AM

Susan G. Komen reverses course, will keep funding Planned Parenthood

By Stephanie Condon

Three days after pulling its funding for cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation on Friday apologized for the decision and reversed course.

"Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer," Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of the foundation, said in a statement. "Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities."

The cancer charity initially announced it was pulling funding for the women's health organization because Planned Parenthood is the subject of investigations by Republican members of Congress for allegedly using federal dollars toward providing abortions. The Komen Foundation said its decision was not political, and in her statement today, Brinker maintained that it was not about politics.

"Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation," she said.

Brinker said in her statement that the Komen Foundation is amending the criteria of its new policy to make clear that it will only bar funding for organizations under investigation if that investigation is "criminal and conclusive in nature and not political."

The policy change doesn't guarantee the Komen Foundation will continue to fund Planned Parenthood's cancer prevention efforts. Yesterday, Brinker suggested that in addition to the congressional investigation, Komen cut ties with Planned Parenthood because they provide "pass-through" services, like clinical exams, rather than mammograms.

However, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said Friday of the Komen Foundation, "I really take them at their word that this [controversy] is behind us."

"In many ways the strength of the relationship with the foundation is where it should be -- it's at the community level," Richards said. "I think where these grants really take place is at the local level and Planned Parenthood's affiliates will be applying for programs [at the local level]. It's certainly my hope and belief we'll be partners again."

Even before the Komen Foundation reversed course, some of its local affiliates had expressed their opposition to the decision.

"Susan G. Komen for the Cure Connecticut enjoys a great partnership with Planned Parenthood, and is currently funding Planned Parenthood of Southern New England," the Connecticut affiliate posted on its Facebook page Tuesday. "We understand, and share, in the frustration around this situation."

Richards added Friday, "I feel very positive, relieved, and I'm glad we can all focus on women's health again."

The Komen Foundation's decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood spurred a strong backlash against the charity. Online, groups opposed to the decision drew tens of thousands of supporters, and in Washington, more than two dozen senators called on the Komen Foundation to reverse its decision. Planned Parenthood also saw a surge in donations in response to the news. Richards said Friday that Planned Parenthood raised $3 million since Tuesday for its breast health care fund, which will allow the organization to "expand our breast care work beyond our wildest dreams."

Planned Parenthood said it typically receives between $500,000 and $700,000 worth of Komen grants annually for breast cancer screenings and preventative education. Planned Parenthood helps the Komen Foundation reach under-served communities like low-income women and minorities.

In an official statement, Richards said Planned Parenthood has a "treasured relationship" with Komen -- an organization that has played a significant role in raising the national awareness of breast cancer risk, screening and treatment -- and thus, has saved countless lives.

Brinker said the events of this week have been "deeply unsettling" for Komen supporters.

"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," she said.

Brinker said that the Komen Foundation will communicate with its key supporters and its network of local chapters starting today to refocus its attention on its mission.

Richards said today's decision is "really a victory for women and women who rely on this care." It demonstrates, she added, that "political bullying" won't keep women for standing up for women's health.

kinda fickle. lol
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