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Komen Reverses Planned Parenthood Decision

Group bows to immense pressure from erstwhile supporters

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Here’s the statement from Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s CEO and founder Nancy Brinker (the late Komen’s sister), which states that the group “will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants.” It also insists that the initial decision to pull Planned Parenthood funding was not political in nature but due solely to the group’s being under investigation (an assertion that conflicts with the $7.5 million Komen gave to Penn State, which is currently under federal investigation over sexual abuse allegations).

Planned Parenthood probably shouldn’t declare complete victory yet: it will be interesting to see how well new grant applications are fulfilled (and you can rest assured we will have an answer, as they will be watched closely). In another sense, though, Planned Parenthood had this major organization affirm its legitimacy; got people talking again about the vast panoply of services it provides for women’s health; and raised $650,000 (!!) in the 24 hours following Komen’s first announcement. And good on Hadassah for joining the chorus of Komen supporters expressing their concern and outrage—outrage that, given what a P.R. fiasco this has been for the breast cancer group, probably won’t immediately subside.

UPDATE: Hadassah just sent out a statement. It reads, in part:

Hadassah is proud to continue our longstanding role as an advocate for a woman’s right to choose and a strong supporter in the advancement of women’s health. There is no time to waste. Komen should never again allow this type of controversy to erode the integrity of its well-known and much-admired name in fundraising for breast cancer treatment research and awareness.

Hadassah applauds the millions of women who have united in a shared message to ensure that together, women will continue to receive much needed services and that our focus on women’s health will be continuously strengthened, never derailed again.

Earlier: How Will Pro-Choice Hadassah React to Komen?
Komen Pulls Planned Parenthood Funding

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Brava, Hadassah. And thanks, Marc, for pointing out the transparent hypocrisy of the lame “oh, it was just because they were under investigation!” response. (Penn State, indeed.)

I’ve had major issues with Komen since the lame Yoplait incident of 2005 (mail Yoplait a lid and they’d donate 10 cents to Komen…but uh, a stamp cost 37 cents at the time). I loathe Komen’s role in using pink ribbons as substitutes for meaningful activism. Before pinkwashing referred to Israel’s (supposed) use of LGBT people as a PR tool, it referred far more logically to organizations like Komen using pinky-pinkness as a self-promoting, feel-good, wasteful way to seem womens-health-supportive while touting “awareness” instead of, y’know, TREATMENT…especially for those who can least afford it. See the “think before you pink” web site, or Barbara Ehrenreich’s Welcome to Cancerland, or a bunch of Peggy Orenstein’s blog posts for examples. GRRRR.


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Komen Reverses Planned Parenthood Decision

Group bows to immense pressure from erstwhile supporters

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