tmccarthy0's picture

    Susan G. Komen Foundation's Epic Fail

    The Susan G. Komen foundation hours ago pulled the money they grant to Planned Parenthood to provide mammograms citing a congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood. I predict this is going to turn into an epic failure on the part of the Foundation.

    What do you think will happen? Deciding to pull funding for a program that helps low income women receive mammograms, seems like you might be penalizing the people who most need these services . Women are going to be completely outraged at your actions, as once again our health care needs are subject to politicization, and now an organization that once helped is assisting those who would hold our needs hostage.   I am dumbfounded at your reprehensible decision that jeopardizes the health of poor women.  You know you going to have to reverse this horrendous decision, right, you have to know this, because the announcement has caused what now appears to be a mini-firestorm, but by tomorrow will be totally out of control. The longer this goes on the worse your publicity, and the more money the Foundation loses. But it isn't just money that the Foundation is set to lose here, it has also suddenly lost the air of non-partisanship, and the appearance of a willingness to participate in the politicization of reproductive health, and in doing so, you were willing to sacrifice those who can't fight back.

    Your excuse for pulling this funding is beyond insulting to anyone who is in a semi-conscious state, seriously, "planned parenthood is under congressional investigation" is pretty lame.

    Let's unpack this excuse, so aside from the fact that Republican congresses have been investigating Planned Parenthood since the 1980's, what makes this time so different? Are the charges more serious this time? No of course they are not. The investigation is being conducted by  Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida, Republican of course, and it seems to be the run of the mill investigation that every Republican Congress conducts, you know the one I am talking about,  the one where congress tries to find evidence that PP is using federal funds to conduct abortion services. Every investigation is merely a ruse to pull all funding from Planned Parenthood services.

    Why on earth would a Foundation that does so much good let politics seep into their decisions, I think this decision is going to deeply damage the Foundation. The only question is, will they ever be able to rebuild their once stellar reputation.

    CrossPosted @ TheAngriestLiberal


    I cannot tell you how upset I am over this. 

     This foundation is the one I chose to support over the holidays - giving all my friends small gifts that by purchasing was contributing to the work of the SGKF.  With each small token, I included a small card about this entity and urged others to donate.

    I'm very disappointed and saddened now.  I will sign off before the anger I know is going to emerge and I start venting, spouting negative blather accompanied by profanity.

    Thanks ( I think) TMac for this, please let us know of any follow up, etc. about this.

    Auntie, I am pretty angry myself at this, I can't figure it out, why on earth would they do this? I am angry that they've thrown women health under the bus. 

    Like you I've made a donations to the foundation on more than one occasion and have made specific donations to the program that funds mammograms. Sheesh.. now what? How could they turn on the very people they are supposed to help.

    What source did you have?  I want to research this and write some letters to those responsible,  There's something very wrong here.

    I first read it last night at the Washington Post:

     Then I began looking and it was everywhere, the other thing we know is that the VP of Komen is a Palin supporter, her name is Karen Handel and Palin supporter this woman when she ran for governor of Georgia and she was endorsed by Palin specifically because of her opposition to reproductive choice.

    According to a Mother Jones article:

    Pro life groups have also called on supporters to boycott Komen entirely, and decried the group as a "lie from the pit of Hell."

    When Handel was hired, Komen became an organization that veered from its mission to support a cure but moved to politicize the health of people who suffer from breast cancer. Komen is hurting their own cause, it's too bad too.

    Here's info to sign petition at

    (Sorry, tried to post link, but couldn't make it work here.)

    The Republican plan to defund Planned Parenthood is working -- but if we take action now we may be able to stop the latest attack on women's right to health care.

    It was just announced that Susan G. Komen for a Cure, America's largest charity to fight breast cancer, will no longer fund a program that provides free or low-cost breast cancer screenings for millions of women who get their health care from Planned Parenthood.1 This is a huge blow.

    In abruptly pulling nearly $1,000,000 in funding for breast cancer screenings, Susan G. Koman foundation cited a sham "investigation" into Planned Parenthood launched by Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns, one of the most militant anti-choice members of Congress.2 We have to stand up and fiercely defend Planned Parenthood -- and show Susan G. Komen and others who are considering caving to the radical right that we will not let extremists defund health care for women that includes reproductive services.

    I told the board of Susan G. Komen: Don't throw Planned Parenthood under the bus! Don't cave to anti-woman extremists and cut off funding for breast cancer screenings at the largest provider of health care for women. I hope you will too. You can get more information and sign the petition at the link below. 


    Your excuse for pulling this funding is beyond insulting to anyone who is in a semi-conscious state, seriously, "planned parenthood is under congressional investigation" is pretty lame.


    Well, left wing and moderate contributors can always shoot their contributions to PP.

    This is the first I heard of this fall out from the right wing's recent attacks upon PP.

    This money funds breast exams for low income and under-served populations Dick, that is the problem it affects actual people. No doubt Planned Parenthood will get donations as a result of this, but it is a sum of money that at this point comes from Komen, and they seem to think that participating in the politicization of reproductive health will further the cause of the pro-life (sic) movement.

    Add me to the list of the outraged.  I've supported that foundation, too, and I had no idea it was veering to the right until you reported it here.  Goes to show, we need to pay attention to everything.   The Right is invading every aspect of our lives and this is just another sad example.

    Thank you, Teri, for posting this here.  What a tragedy when the Komen Foundation has done so much good for so many women.  There is nothing that escapes the Right's evil eye.  I want to know how it was that the board chose someone like that woman to head it?  They had to have vetted her before they made the decision.  If the board is full of Righties, too, how did that happen?  I venture it didn't start out that way.

    I am shocked too Mona, righties are infiltrating every aspect of our lives.  I just can't imagine that they believe this is a good idea, that they won't take a huge hit and will now be labeled as a right wing organization.

    I don't get why the Foundation has done this, I really don't.   They are playing with the lives of real people for political expediency. I am disgusted by what they've done here.

    This was the topic of the morning in Roland Martin's segment on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, a popular radio program in the black community. Komen donates approximately $600K annually for mammograms and Pap smears for low-income women..

    Conservatives love the unborn, but hate the living.

    Oh very interesting rmrd. I like your  last line, Conservatives love the unborn, but hate the living. So true.

    In Komen Move to Defund Planned Parenthood Not a Surprise, Taylor Marsh writes of her disappointment with the pols she trusted, and ends with:

    Susan G. Komen Foundation made the decision on Planned Parenthood because the right won critical seats in the 2010 midterms in a rabid campaign that Democrats didn’t engage fully, including on economics. It allowed Republicans to corner Planned Parenthood, which set up the investigation, which was written into Komen as something that disqualified an organization from funding.

    As I wrote in “The Party’s Over,” for over 30 years Democrats have said women needed to vote for them to keep our rights secure. I’ve done that, trusted them, and with Democrats the only game in politics who aren’t cut out for the current fight, now look what has happened. What I was promised would never occur if I voted Democratic.

    When you have female leaders so weak on fundamental issues of women’s individual freedoms that they are willing to give away foundational concessions on issues won through the courts it’s only a matter of time before you lose them. Putting party loyalty above all else is how this unfolded.

    This was very well played strategy by the right whose tactics should have been seen a long way out. That the head of Planned Parenthood is “shocked” says it all.

    Needless to say, I’m not.

    Next you’ll hear a rallying cry from Democrats and others to fight back and that women’s rights are at stake! The mean anti-women’s coalition is targeting us all! Give money now!

    Taylor Marsh's piece that you put up there Donal is beyond bizarre. she thinks this has happened because of Democrats losing the the 2010 election? Well, why didn't the Komen fund do this in 2000-2006? She seems to have a bone to pick with Democrats, which is fine, that is her personal stuff.

    However, she is wrong. Democrats didn't cause this and are not responsible for it and it is Republicans who constantly politicize reproductive health.  How on earth could Democrats be responsible for the bad decision the Komen fund made to quit supporting poor people who need access to breast cancer screening programs? Seems to me Ms. Marsh is no better than those at Komen who prefer politicization of issues to truth. I am stunned by the weakness of her argument. Thanks for the peek at it Donal.

    I disagree about who she blames, but I think Marsh is correct that this should not really be a surprise. The red shift in this country is fairly obvious.

    She's upset that Democrats didn't stop it, and notes: "We’ve seen it with Pres. Obama’s actions time and again." This is the constant refrain of people on the left who are upset that elected Democrats aren't as progressive as they would like.

    Frankly elected Dems aren't as progressive as I would like, but to my mind the blame ultimately belongs with the people that didn't both elect more progressive candidates and support them with overt political action. Of course we've had this argument over and over.

    How can democrats stop a private organization from appointing and hiring people to their boards.

    Yeah, it's the Democrats fault for everything, they should just suck it up and take the blame, SGKomen hires political hacks, it is the Democrats fault they did it and it all has to do with the 2010 election. Wow, just wow.

    DF is exactly right, this is the very same argument used by pro-lifers, and it is just as lame coming from them.

    Taylor Marsh is a hack.

    She looks just a bit more hackish today after a couple dozen Democratic Senators got involved.  There are a lot of issues where I think the Dems fall short, but generally this is not one of them.

    Marsh has a point. I agree that Komen probably rewrote its rules to have a reason to get out of donating to PP. As such, it was pool of the dirtiest kind. But it's not like there are NO Democrats in Congress who could have fought this investigation.

    The investigation was launched by the House Committee of Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The following Democrats are on the Committee:


    Republicans Democrats
    Cliff Stearns (FL) Chair Diana DeGette (CO)
    Lee Terry (NE) Vice Chair – C & T Jan Schakowsky (IL)
    John Sullivan (OK) Vice Chair – E & P Mike Ross (AK)
    Tim Murphy (PA) Vice Chair – E & E Kathy Castor (FL)
    Michael Burgess (TX) Vice Chair – Health Edward J. Markey (MA)
    Marsha Blackburn (TN) Vice Chair – CMT Gene Green (TX)
    Sue Myrick (NC) Vice Chair – Full Committee Donna Christensen (VI)
    Brian Bilbray (CA) John D. Dingell (MI)
    Phil Gingrey (GA) Henry A. Waxman (CA)
    Steve Scalise (LA)  
    Cory Gardner (CO)  
    Morgan Griffith (VA)  
    Joe Barton (TX)  
    Fred Upton (MI)


    Granted, the Democrats are outnumbered, but what exactly did each of the Democrats on the subcommittee do to defend Planned Parenthood against what seems to be a pretty bogus investigation? And more important, what are they, and other Democrats going to do about it now?

    Somehow, Marsh's prediction of arm-waving and a call for monetary donations rings true to me.

    C'mon, gang, sometimes members of Congress need our support, and sometimes, they need to be told to do their JOBS and not play fast and loose with our rights.

    That said, Komen is dead to me, too, until Handel steps down and they re-up their contribution to PP. I'm putting a black ribbon on my pink armband, today.

    If the Democrats were outnumbered, how could they stop the Republicans from launching an investigation?

    What would you have done in Congress to prevent the investigation? 

    Once the investigation got underway, how would you have prevented the Komen Foundation from pulling funding as a Democrat in Congress?

    As we know, these things are not always a straight up or down vote, and a lot of stuff gets done behind the scenes. I am surprised that we're even having this conversation. 

    I'm pretty sure that if any high-ranking Democrat on the subcommittee had REALLY wanted to make the case that the "investigation" was a political move or that it would be a waste of public money to undertake it, it would not have happened. And I've got to believe that in the many years that all kinds of private foundations have been doing business, nobody has ever rewritten their rules in this way and then been shocked, shocked to see that the organization that was causing them trouble is in trouble with Congress.

    I believe we've seen lukewarm Democratic support for an inconvenient organization before, and then that organization disappeared. ACORN, anyone? Oh, whoops, we seem to be out of ACORNS--and we were so hoping to have an ACORN appetizer tonight....

    I know I must seem highly cynical about this, and there's no doubt that preventing a private foundation from acting this way might be beyond the mission of a subcommittee, but I'd really like to see proof that the Democratic subcommittee members didn't roll over on this investigation. And I do think that the investigation is a waste of public money.

    (It's not like the Democrats haven't softpedaled this stuff before--remember when the nuns had to come to the rescue of politicians on women's health a few years ago?) 

    The Congressional investigation is a distraction. An organization that receives funding for issues related to women's health has taken funding away from poor women. In essence, the foundation is willing to put the health of poor women at risk. The pressure needs to be applied directly on the Komen Foundation. The foundation can either be used as a tool of Conservatives, or they can focus on breast cancer prevention. Congress has zero role in getting the Komen Foundation to live up to it's stated goals.

    Not to dodge the ACORN question. Did Democrats behave as cowards? Yes. What Democrats need are people in the streets and in their face to make sure that they see strong and visible support for important issues. ACORN had support in the blogosphere, but not the type of on the ground support we see as the public opposes Republican Governors.

    More pressure on Democrats in Congress would have been useful with ACORN. Pressure on Komen leadership is the appropriate response now.

    Oh Taylor Marsh, et al: I know it's the Democrats fault that Komen founder Nancy Brinker has strong Republican ties, in fact GW Bush appointed her ambassador to Hungary. Damn Democrats and their inability to stop SGKomen from appointing more wingers. Democrats, damn what were they thinking, letting a private business do this, had they won the 2010 election this never would have happened!  But most definitely it is the 2010 election that caused this and it is the Democrats fault, all of it, forever.

    I think it is also the Democrats fault that the decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood according to the Washington Post column linked to above, comes shortly after Komen unveiled a new partnership that strengthens its ties to the George W. Bush Institute. 

    Oh those Democrats, how could they, it's their fault, it is also their fault  Republicans have been running investigations targeting Planned Parenthood since 1986 or so, but it is all the fault of Democrats, for sure and the 2010 election, because this all began in 2010, before that everything was just great.

    Thanks to Taylor Marsh for setting us straight. #notaylormarshisntcorrectsheiswrong

    What's interesting about Marsh's commentary here is that it mirrors almost exactly what activists on the anti-abortion side of the debate say: We've voted for you loyally, but still live under the regime of Roe v. Wade.

    This act by the Komen org isn't the result of elections.  In fact, Karen Handel, their current Senior VP of Public Policy actually failed to get elected on an anti-abortion platform.  This isn't something Congress did.  It's something activists have accomplished by working outside of the system.

    You are exactly right DF, exactly.

    Jezebel has this RE: Komen's current Senior VP of Public Policy.  Apparently her pro-life stance during her 2010 gubernatorial run in the state of Georgia was enough to earn a nod from Sarah Palin.

    For whatever good the Komen organization has done, it's pretty much dead to me at this point.  Breast cancer is thankfully now one of the most treatable cancers provided that it's detected early.  Therefore, subsidizing screening for women who cannot afford it is the single most important life-saving function they can provide - even more so than funding additional research that might lead to what we consider a "cure."

    Combine this with their misogynistic deployment of their "save the ta-tas" slogan and what's left that's really all that redeemable?  Once a women's health organization has lost sight of the fact that it is the humanity of women, not merely their sexuality, which is at stake in pursuing positive women's health outcomes, what is left?

    You wrote:

    Therefore, subsidizing screening for women who cannot afford it is the single most important life-saving function they can provide - even more so than funding additional research that might lead to what we consider a "cure."

    Exactly, and well said.

    The Connecticut Affiliate of SGK makes a statement

    The decision regarding the funding of Planned Parenthood was made by Susan G. Komen for the Cure National Headquarters. Susan G. Komen for the Cure Connecticut enjoys a great partnership with Planned Parenthood, and is currently funding Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. We understand, and share, in the frustration around this situation. We hope that any investigation prohibiting Planned Parenthood from receiving Komen grants is promptly resolved.

    Backlash. SGK is bleeding donors. Too bad the main organization allowed politicos to take over.

    You probably know this, but MoveOn has jumped into the fray on this matter as well.

    I have always gone out of the way to buy products when grocery shopping that had pink ribbon on them. It was a way I could support. Now I won't.

    Thanks, Teresa for posting this and starting this conversation. Among the many things that I find offensive about this is the DAMNED IF YOU DO DAMNED IF YOU DON'T right-wing stance about health care. which goes something like this:

    It should not be the government's job to have any invovlement with keeping its citizenry healthy because charities and certain private-sector organizations really should do that. BUT!!! If an organization DOES provide help for those who need it, screw them if they are not in line with the far right's view on their wedge issues that keep them alive.

    Not sure if this old news here, but I just came across this and thought I would share it:

    From the link:



    The Federal Campaign Giving History for Susan G. Komen Founder & CEO Nancy G. Brinker

    Sen. Richard Santorum (R-PA)

    Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN)

    Rep. Robert "Bob" Inglis (R-SC)

    Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

    Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

    Eric Cantor (R-Hell)

    Anyway it goes on...


    Last week, the Komen org was extremely popular and generally not perceived as a political organization.  A lot of people are seeing things differently today.

    Yup, it had seemed a good group to me. Now it's on its way to becoming the liberal equivalent of Acorn. 


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