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This is disturbing.

Komen Reverses Decision on Planned Parenthood Funding, Is Still Likely Full of Shit —Erin Gloria Ryan, on Jezebel.com

This entire affair is disturbing. I don't know when SGK became a political organization, but it's for damn sure that I will never support them again. Instead, I'll go straight to the American Cancer Society.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
esprix
Feb. 3rd, 2012 06:21 pm (UTC)
When the radical right decided Planned Parenthood was the anti-Christ and they took over SGK.

This is something Komen will never fully recover from. And, if they deny PP funding in the future (as they seem to be leaving the door open for), there will be just as big of an outcry over this, as women and their allies are watching them for this shit.
hatchlingdragon
Feb. 3rd, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it's the most fact-oriented piece of data, but my understanding is that the Head of PR for SGK is anti-abortion, and made this choice for them.
scixual
Feb. 3rd, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
Donating to the pink "for a cure" causes is not as efficient a way of donating anyway. They have a huge overhead, and not much of the money actually gets used for research, compared to some.
kishiriadgr
Feb. 3rd, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
I'd already heard a lot of things that made me think SGK was sketchy, particularly about the tiny amount off all the pink stuff they sell that they actually get, plus their massive admin costs.

I was bothered by all the stereotypically gendered nature of their fundraising. Butch women obviously need not apply.
tygenco_x
Feb. 4th, 2012 08:08 am (UTC)
PP is where I go for my yearly exam(s) and they've been helpful to me when I had no doctor to defer to. They've also been super helpful when I had no insurance, and the folks working in the clinics are (at least in my experience) welcoming and understanding.

As for komen... I've always preferred donating to the ACS instead. The attitude I've seen with the komen reps that I remember dealing with while I lived in AK had a tendency to be in the realm of 'holier than thou' and that had a last effect on my view of them. I know they're probably not all like that, but, a few bad apples ruin the stock.
whswhs
Feb. 4th, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
You know, I'm kind of baffled at this.

* Komen is an organization for doing something about breast cancer, right?

* Does funding Planned Parenthood result in improved health outcomes for women with breast cancer? What percentage of PP's budget goes to breast cancer in any way? If it's a high percentage, I'd frankly be disturbed; I'm in favor of their family planning and abortion services, and I think that the bulk of their funds ought to go there. But if PP is staying on mission, it's not the same mission as Komen, and funding PP doesn't advance Komen's mission that I can see.

* There are large numbers of people in this country, including millions of women, who won't donate to an organization that pays for abortions, even indirectly. I think their objections to abortion are wrong. But if they want to help with breast cancer, should their money be turned away? Or is it better to say, "At least we have common ground on this," and take their money?

* If you look at it from one angle, if Komen gets twice as much money because it can draw on money from anti-abortion donors too, you can cut your donations to Komen in half and give directly to PP. In effect, your donations to breast cancer aid are getting matching funds from people who disagree with you about abortion. In what way does that make anything you care about worse?

* In fact, I understand that the loss of Komen passthrough led to PP getting a massive influx of direct donations, which really seems like a more efficient way to fund what they do anyway. Having one nonprofit pass along funds to another nonprofit has to raise the administrative overhead.

Can you explain exactly what it is that disturbs you about the situation? Because I'm not getting it.
esprix
Feb. 6th, 2012 12:57 pm (UTC)
All kinds of points here.

* PP works on all kinds of women's health issues, and abortions count for only a fraction of those issues.

* The majority of the money PP got from SGK was spent on their cancer initiatives and not on other services.

* SGK didn't say they were pulling funding because PP does abortions - they said they weren't accepting grant applications from any organization under any kind of investigations. Since Congress *is* "investigating" (i.e., witch hunt) PP on how they spend their money, SGK used that as the excuse to say they weren't going to give them any more money.

* If nothing else, SGK was a, if not *the*, leading voice in making breast cancer awareness an issue to the public with their whole "pink" campaign, and by slapping PP in the face over this political issue has irreparably damaged their brand, and their efforts on behalf of breast cancer research. That's never a good thing.

Just my thoughts and observations, though.
whswhs
Feb. 6th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC)
If you mean "irreparably damaged Komen's own brand" rather than "irreparably damaged Planned Parenthood's brand"—doesn't that conclusion rest on the assumption that there was something wrong with Komen making that decision, which is the very point you're arguing for?

The thing that strikes me about this controversy is that there used to be causes that were truly politically neutral, that conservatives and progressives could both donate to in good conscience. And keeping women from dying of breast cancer seems like a quintessential example of such a cause. But it seems to be harder to keep any cause politically neutral now. By donating to PP, Komen was taking a non-neutral stance: they were supporting an organization that conservatives largely detest, and forfeiting the contributions they might get from conservatives. When they ceased to donate to PP, that was not accepted as a neutral stance either; it was taken as "siding with the conservatives," and cost them donations from a lot of progressives. There doesn't seem to be any policy they could follow that would not result in their being seen as taking sides. That way lies an increasing separation of the United States into two hostile camps, with no institutions that both camps approve of. I can't see that as a good thing.
esprix
Feb. 7th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
I think Komen damaged their own brand, as evidenced by the overwhelming negative feedback they received (so much so that they reversed their decision, lost top executives, and publicly apologized for their error). I hope that damage doesn't extend to donations for cancer research (which I don't think it will, but any time a charity makes huge missteps like this it affects the trust the community has in all of them).

I agree that cancer research should be politically neutral, but until the radical right disengages their war against what is a perfectly legal practice, anything "tainted" with a whisper of abortion will be politicized. I don't blame Komen nor PP for this, I blame the zealots on the right (and, admittedly, in general there are zealots on both sides of the political spectrum, obviously).

Also, keep in mind that the decision to deny future funding to PP was driven largely by one person - Karen Handel, former VP for Policy (she resigned today), who ran as a Republican candidate for Georgia governor on an anti-abortion platform, and openly stated her hatred for PP because of their abortion services. Now why no one else stopped her from making a bad decision on behalf of Komen I can't say, but perhaps there is a systemic problem in their organization of having been infiltrated by conservatives who are pushing their own agenda; I couldn't say. I'm sure the organization is going to do a lot of soul-searching after this fiasco.

I also see this as not a problem of "who is on whose side" (although I do tend to throw my business towards proven LGBT-friendly businesses whenever I can), but rather a case of people not looking deeply enough into the issues. It's too easy for the right to say "Komen shouldn't donate ANY money to PP because they perform abortions," and the left to say, "by not donating to PP they're siding with the conservatives." The reality is, from what I've read, that, first of all, only about 3% of PP's services include abortions, and second of all, the money they got from Komen was overwhelmingly, if not all, applied to breast cancer screenings (and, even if it wasn't, we're still talking 3% at most). So if Komen is giving money to PP to perform breast cancer screenings, and that is what they money is being used for, then why threaten to cut off their funding in the first place? If people had looked deeper, this wouldn't have been a problem, but the radical right thrives on misinformation and fear, and they used it to their advantage here. Ultimately, though, PP gained both donations and a reversal, so it's good news for them and bad news for Komen.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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