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Discolored Pink

Komen riboon dirty
Not so clean after all

I used to have a lot of respect for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. They have helped women by the millions in the goal of reducing breast cancer by providing means to make sure each and every women gets a regular breast exam for early detection. I’ve participated in the walk they hold each year here in Salt Lake to show and give my support to this cause.

With the recent events that have unfolded, I have lost a large amount of respect for them. Not that they can’t help women anymore, but for putting politics before their foundation’s mantra: To rid the world of breast cancer and to never have another case of a woman with breast cancer.

But Nancy Brinker stated their shocking decision to not fund Planned Parenthood was not a political move. Bull. Fucking. Shit.

If you have to come out and say your decision wasn’t political, with your main VP Karen Handel having a history of political service and many statements against Planned Parenthood, not to mention Rep. Cliff Stearns R-FLA and his investigation into Planned Parenthood and where their funding goes – which was the basis for the defunding move, then you might have wanted to wash your hands first.

Passing this off as non-political and using the “they are under investigation” excuse, then why not also announce you are no longer funding Penn State. They appear to have their hands full of federal investigators at this time.

In trying to interpret Nancy Brinker’s defense, it all fell apart a few days later when they decided to re-define their defunding of Planned Parenthood with the added detail that the organizations now need to be “criminal and conclusive” and not simply under investigation, before they quit sending them money. Penn State, you are safe for now. And so is Planned Parenthood, obviously.

With millions ready to participate in their annual cancer walk, the backlash and lack of support could have been devastating financially. Of course, they might have already lost the support of many, like myself. But maybe this was all they had and we just need to weather the political storm.

Divided Over Stem Cells

Wait a minute… let’s take a look at their history of limiting what type of funding they give to those who do work on stem cell research. Pretty much following the exact same criteria that President Bush had for what types of stem cells could be funded, the Komen group refuses to fund these research centers. Again, not taking into account all religious and moral arguments about “you are killing a life,” if your goal is to rid every woman of cancer, don’t you think you would want to broaden your methods? And while I can understand some moral reservations, the idea of rejecting the majority of stem cell research on these grounds is questionable, in my opinion.

Stepping Down

And with the most recent news of Karen Handel stepping down as VP of this foundation, we have followed the fall out and downfall of this group that does so much for the health of women. So do we throw the baby out with the bath water? Of course not. Maybe now with some house cleaning and licking it’s wounds, the Komen Foundation can now get back to focusing solely on it’s main goal of fighting breast cancer.

But to be honest, it’s going to take this once ardent supporter some time to gain their trust again. Until then, I will be donating directly to Planned Parenthood.

Copyright © 2012 - All Rights Reserved


  1. Sybil Law says:

    It was a stupid, baaad business move on the Komen foundation’s part.

    1. martymankins says:

      Agreed. Not sure what they were thinking. Obviously, not about curing breast cancer.

  2. Ren says:

    Aside from the political issue, this whole ordeal highlight (to me) other issues. I haven’t looked into it, but there were reports that only a rather meager portion of the donations they receive make there way through the system. Also, while I’m certainly in favor of helping to assure that all women have access to appropriate screenings, I’ve always perceived Komen is being focused on “The Cure”. This disconnect troubles me a bit, though I suspect it comes down to percentages. If less than half of the money makes its way to research, that seems like a problem. I have no idea if that’s the case here.

    1. martymankins says:

      Yes, the small percentage of money that actually goes to research for breast cancer was something I read about over on Nilsa’s blog after I posted this. Operations like this need to be leaner business wise and find ways to put more money into the research.

  3. Like Ren, I always associated Komen with trying to find a cure and was actually unaware of their involvement with screenings and planned parenthood until this story broke. Certainly a political move and not something that makes me particularly enamored with Komen.

    1. martymankins says:

      I’ve never understood why women’s health issues are used so often as political pawns. Seems rather misguided.

  4. Megan says:

    Let’s keep politics out of my bra and panties, shall we? I’m getting a little tired of pulling out all the hands that seem to have an interest in what goes on there. Blech.

    1. martymankins says:

      My wife loved your opening statement in your comment.

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