At first I was too stunned to put together a coherent thought on Susan G Komen’s most recent announcement that they are pulling already-approved grants to Planned Parenthood to provide mammograms to low-income, uninsured women. I still don’t quite have the words to articulate my outrage, but SOMETHING has to be said, and I take great comfort in the uprising of people across the internet who have spoken so clearly against this action.
News on this story has been moving quickly, and from one report I glimpsed Planned Parenthood has already replaced $400,000 of the funds through unsolicited donations. Amazing….
What disturbs me most about Komen’s action is that despite all of the medical evidence available, Komen has repeatedly stood behind outdated mammography guidelines in advocating for women beginning age 40 to receive annual mammograms regardless of the risk factors involved in such screening. Komen has essentially convinced countless women to seek mammograms, and then abandoned them completely. I wonder how many of these women have supported Komen in walking for the cure, shopping for the cure and more.
For a marketing machine like Komen to have missed the opportunity to set up a new mammography program before pulling Planned Parenthood’s grants suggests that they aren’t acting on behalf of women at all. They have assumed a blatantly anti-choice political agenda. I personally believe they have put their 501(c)3 status on the line, and it is THEY, not Planned Parenthood, who should be investigated.
This is not the first time Komen has found itself unable to get along with other strong voices on behalf of women’s health. The arrogance with which they posit their narrow perspective has been nurtured by their marketing successes. If today’s internet maelstrom is any indication, Komen needs to quickly rethink their position. I have seen countless tweets, FaceBook posts and email from people who have already moved their donations directly to Planned Parenthood. While I have not been a Komen donor, I most certainly picked up the phone to Planned Parenthood, credit card in hand.
Komen appears to have lost sight of both their mission and their donor base. They are completely out of touch with the growing frustration (dare I say anger) over how their their funds are raised and donations are allocated. More importantly, in moving to a political agenda, they put the tax-free status of their donor’s gifts on the the line. I proudly stand with those who have been trying to raise attention to Komen’s antics, and add my voice to the many who have spoken so clearly today, most especially the impassioned address on the floor of the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Jackie Speier today.
Please consider joining me: call the Congresswoman thanking her for her solid support, and consider a donation to Planned Parenthood today. And then pick up the phone to Komen and let’s hold them accountable!