Komen Backtracks, Will Fund PP

Some good news.

“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,” a Komen statement said.

Nice to see that people power can still make a difference on occasion in this corporate oligarchy of ours.

Update Oops, not so fast. Greg Sargent and Sara Kliff are both skeptical about whether Komen’s statement is anything more than a PR move.

Then there’s this:

In addition to pulling funds from Planned Parenthood for The Susan G. Komen Foundation also decided to stop funding embryonic stem cell research centers making it fully transparent the organization has evolved from non-political non-profit to a partisan advocacy organization.

That means the loss of $3.75 million to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, $4.5 million to the University of Kansas Medical Center, $1 million to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, $1 million to the Society for Women’s Health Research, and $600,000 to Yale University. That’s a loss of nearly $12 million dollars in research money to eradicate breast cancer this year alone.

I hate when my optimism, scarce as it is, is so misplaced.

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • More important than the actual funding decisions is the intense scrutiny of Komen caused by their actions. Not many people I know had any indication of their dark side, only their pink exterior. Now, many of us have seen the executive compensation on their IRS 990 form (over $450,000 for the director, with a significant list of other staff earning half that on down to low six figures, many of them for only a few months work). No one’s taken a vow of poverty to work there, but still.

    See their 2010 IRS 990 here:
    http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments//2010/751/835/2010-751835298-06b01a87-9A.pdf (login required but free)

    We’ve also heard about their other political shenanigans on a pretty broad range of issues related and seemingly unrelated to women’s health. The ways they’ve chosen to spend their money have been questioned. Corporate involvement is also problematic in several cases.

    This year’s walks and other public events may not be as successful because of this public uproar, and Planned Parenthood has already received an impressive financial windfall from the scandal. This trend may continue in 2012 and beyond. Whether or not Komen can rectify the situation without replacing their top management remains to be seen.

    Isn’t there a saying about people living in glass houses?

    A comment to Angus Johnston‘s article

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • What has happened is that Komen will review grant applications from Planned Parenthood. It has said nothing about approving those grants. But PP received almost $3M in direct donations after the Komen blow up, and since Komen only passes through $0.24/$1.00, PP has been better served by Komen taking the right-wing, reactionary political path than continuing to receive money from Komen.

  • Laura Bassett continues to run with it on Huffpo:

    a Komen insider told HuffPost on Sunday that Karen Handel, Komen’s staunchly anti-abortion vice president for public policy, was the main force behind the decision to defund Planned Parenthood and the attempt to make that decision look nonpolitical.

    Karen Handel, Susan G. Komen’s Anti-Abortion VP, Drove Decision To Defund Planned Parenthood

    The origin of the universe has not as yet been shown to be a conspiracy theory

  • Buy a product with a pink ribbon, participate or give money to the Komen Foundation, not their walks or any other activity.

    they have shown their true stripes. They may have been outmaneuvered this time, but you can bet the leadership is retrenching and regrouping for their next ideological move.

    Ari Fleischer (of Bush, Jr. infamy) has moved into the role of consultant there.

  • They’re just enriching themselves on the backs of women. However, if you wish to contribute to some kind of breast cancer prevention and research, choose Breast Cancer Action.

    BCAction is the only national breast cancer organization to not accept funding from entities that profit from or contribute to cancer. Our independence allows us to advocate for policy changes that protect affected communities. More

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • by Salon‘s Rebecca Traister and Joan Walsh

    A radical decision woke the country up to an alarming rightward drift, and gave new life to women’s health advocacy

    The startling intensity that we saw this week in response to Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s decision to pull its grants from Planned Parenthood — an intensity that prompted the Komen foundation to reverse its decision — may be the best thing that’s happened to the conversation about reproductive rights in this country for decades. It certainly should be.

    Practically since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, reproductive rights activists have been left to play stilted defense against ideological opponents who grabbed the language of morality, life, love and family as their own, always deploying it with reference to the fetus. The rhetoric around reproductive rights, which has more recently begun to creep into arguments over contraception, has become suffocating in its emotional self-righteousness, but too muscular, too ubiquitous to effectively combat.

    But the overreach by the Komen foundation, while surely intended to strike yet another blow on the side of antiabortion activism, succeeded instead in waking a powerful constituency — armed with precisely the language and emotional heft they’ve been lacking for too long.

    ….. The starkly observable attack against something as crucial and basic as breast exams for poor women, as well as the fact that so many divergent voices were pulled into it, meant that the conversation was not about partisan politics; it was about women. For the first time in what feels like forever, passion and fury were being loudly, proudly given in a full-throated voice, on behalf of women – women as moral actors; women as citizens with rights, health, bodies, freedoms; women as people with families and economic concerns.

    Taken together, these factors mark this as a watershed moment in the contemporary conversation about reproductive rights. This is a story in which we see the possibility of a turned tide, a new way to gauge how the public actually feels about women’s rights and health, and a new way to talk about it, as well. Because what we saw this week was big. It was mass. It was emotional. More at the link

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

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