|Susan G. Komen Foundation Caves To Radical Teabaggers|
Under massive pressure from radical congressional teapublcicans, Komen for the Cure announced an end this week to its grants to Planned Parenthood for screening and education programs. By way of a defense, the nation's most prominent breast-cancer organization said "it had adopted new funding standards" - organizations facing investigations by local, state, or federal authorities would be cut off.
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has severed its ties with Planned Parenthood? (Shaking head)
As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars — nearly $700,000 last year alone — no longer will fund breast cancer screenings and other breast-related services for low-income and uninsured women at 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country.
Komen made the decision in December, but the news didn't get out until this week. Before Komen went into lockdown mode, a spokeswoman told The Associated Press that this decision had nothing to do with the relentless pressure from anti-abortion groups that want to drive Planned Parenthood into extinction.
So why did an extremist anti-abortion group brag online about the funding cuts two weeks before Komen told Planned Parenthood?
For at least the past six years, the Susan G. Komen foundation and Planned Parenthood have been partnering giants in this fight for women's health.
The widely-held assumption has been that Komen's explanation is a thinly-veiled excuse, intended to obscure a politically-motivated decision. The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg reports that the assumptions are well grounded:
Three sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process told me that the rule was adopted in order to create an excuse to cut-off Planned Parenthood. (Komen gives out grants to roughly 2,000 organizations, and the new "no-investigations" rule applies to only one so far.)
The decision to create a rule that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood, according to these sources, was driven by the organization's new senior vice-president for public policy, Karen Handel, a former gubernatorial candidate from Georgia who is staunchly anti-abortion and who has said that since she is "pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood." (The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood did not pay for abortion or contraception services, only cancer detection, according to all parties involved.) [...]
Another source directly involved with Komen's management activities told me that when the organization's leaders learned of the Stearns investigation, they saw an opportunity. "The cart came before the horse in this case," said the source, who spoke to me on condition of anonymity. "The rule was created to give the board of directors the excuse to stop the funding of Planned Parenthood. It was completely arbitrary. If they hadn't come up with this particular rule, they would have come up with something else in order to separate themselves from Planned Parenthood."
Goldberg went on to say:
"that Komen's decision was so contentious within the organization that Mollie Williams, the group's top public health official, resigned in protest immediately following the Komen board's decision to cut off Planned Parenthood.
Now the Komen foundation has let the radical teapublicans relentless war on women derail this mighty force for justice.
When did misogyny become the new national past time? I find it particularly appalling when self loathing female politicians chooses to join in the fun aimed at destroying women's reproductive health care. Many members of the "Our Bodies Ourselves" generation believed this kind of oppression of women in general - poor women in particular to be the stuff reminiscent in a Dickensian nightmare. Radical teapublicans are making charities corrupt.
When you peel back the onion, reality and facts show Komen crumbled under massive pressure from the radical right!
As we speak, I am fighting cancer myself (Prostate), the Komen foundation cannot convince me that their decision to defund Planned Parenthood was not political. NFTOS and West Media will refuse to support any organization that does not trust a women to make their own decisions about their bodies and their reproductive health. Any donation we would have made to Komen will now be diverted to Planned Parenthood.
Ladies, you need to take back your reproductive rights and by doing so, insure that health care for low income women exists tomorrow.
Komen has strong links to the anti-choice movement. Its new vice president of public policy, Karen Handel, ran for governor of Georgia in 2010 on an aggressively anti-choice platform, part of which was a pledge to defund Planned Parenthood.
Komen needs to hear that we won't stand for this kind of political posturing when real lives are at stake.
Post Script: Keep an eye on Washington today as Capitol Hill sources tell me that there will be some additional word from Democratic lawmakers outraged by Komen's decision.
UPDATE: 2/2/12 14:49
The Susan G. Komen Foundation, and its senior vice president of public policy, Karen Handel, who is "staunchly and unequivocally pro-life," have been getting beat up pretty bad for the blatantly political decision to stop funding cancer screen and prevention at Planned Parenthood.
It appears that yesterday, Handel signed on to the "cry me a freaking river" sentiment on Twitter that anti-choicers are gleefully expressing because nothing makes them happier than women dying of cancer if it means sticking it to the nation's biggest provider of health care to women.
However, since that sentiment didn't really lend credence to the Komen Foundation talking point that its decision wasn't political, the tweet was deleted.
But, as sharp-eyed Lisa McIntire tweeted, "This is why we take screen shots."
Karen Handel is apparently a typical teapublican and doesn't understand how the internet works. Nice try, Ms. Handel, but too late. The tweet may be gone, but your true feelings about this horrible decision is already out there, and it has been spread far and wide.
UPDATE: 2/2/12 16:40
US Democartic Senate issues letter to Komen
UPDATE: 2/2/12 18:51
The below is a trailer for a documentary coming out Friday about the "pinkification" of breast cancer. Could it be any more timely, considering the exposure of the Susan G Komen Foundation as a right-wing tool? So much information has emerged, so little time. With many thanks to those who contributed links to NFTOS via email, I'd like to suggest that we support this film, and all efforts to marginalize the Komen's foundation hijacking of women's health for right-wing causes.