Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Komen Falling Apart

I have never seen the American people come together like they did when the Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure" Foundation de-funded Planned Parenthood. With all their cute pink stuff and good-guy reputation for helping women fight breast cancer, they had been bringing in donations by the gazillions. Meanwhile, the place had secretly been infiltrated by anti-choicers who passed a benign-sounding rule that allowed them to stop funding Planned Parenthood, just like that.

And guess what, Planned Parenthood got more money in personal donations than this big organization had given them. And guess what else, nobody wants to have anything to do with Komen any more.

Now, nearly two months later, Huffington Post has this:
Two top executives at Susan G. Komen for the Cure have announced their resignation, amid reports that the breast cancer charity is struggling to raise money and repair its reputation after its decision to defund Planned Parenthood and subsequent reversal.
Katrina McGhee, Komen's executive vice president and chief marketing officer, privately announced several weeks ago that she will be stepping down on May 4, and Dara Richardson-Heron, CEO of Komen's New York City affiliate, announced her resignation on Tuesday. Both cited "personal" reasons and declined to elaborate. Susan G. Komen Executives Resign Amid Reports Of Internal Troubles
Americans love Planned Parenthood. I wonder what percentage of young women get their birth control pills there, what percentage of poor women go there for health services. They provide a good service, a necessary service.

Komen shot themselves in the foot. All they needed was a bunch of pink stuff and keep cheerleading for women, who could be against that? Everybody could be in easy six-figures. But they blew it.
Susan G. Komen Greater New York City recently decided to postpone its annual fundraising gala because executives "were not certain about our ability to fundraise in the near term," spokesperson Vern Calhoun said in a statement.
A Komen insider told HuffPost that "employee morale is in the toilet" since Komen leadership made the controversial decision to defund Planned Parenthood, one of the nation's most prominent women's health and family planning organizations. The move was led by anti-abortion executive Karen Handel, then Komen's senior vice president for public policy, who has since resigned.
"Brinker in complete meltdown," the source wrote to HuffPost. "People want her to resign but she won't."
Yeah, that's tough, isn't it.


Anonymous GOP loses women's votes said...

In February 2011 anti-choice Republicans pushed a rogue measure to cut off all federal funding from Planned Parenthood, even though less than 3% of services it provides are abortions, none of which are paid for using federal grant dollars.

Still, the GOP saw an opportunity to fire up their fringe base while undermining a liberal-leaning advocacy organization. And if the five million US women who get affordable health care from Planned Parenthood every year had to be thrown under the bus, so be it. All’s fair in politics.

Almost a year later, a GOP operative at the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation pushed for the organization to cut its support of Planned Parenthood. Uproar from women was swift and strong, prompting Komen to reverse the decision and the ideologically-driven instigator to resign.

But Republicans kept pushing their anti-choice, anti-women’s health agenda.

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who has repeatedly reiterated his staunch opposition to contraception, began surging in the polls among conservative voters.

Republicans in Virginia proposed a law that would require women seeking abortions, even those resulting from rape or incest, to first submit to mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds -- a further invasion of their bodies.

Republicans in Texas pushed through a law defunding Planned Parenthood clinics in the state, cutting off at least 60,000 low-income women from their health care providers.

Thursday, the New York Times reports, "Senate Democratic women plan to march to the Senate floor to demand quick action on the extension of the Violence Against Women Act." The Times goes on to say that the act, "once [a piece of ] broadly bipartisan legislation...now faces fierce opposition from conservatives." The article also mentions this point from a female, Republican Senator: "At a closed-door Senate Republican lunch on Tuesday, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska sternly warned her colleagues that the party was at risk of being successfully painted as anti-woman — with potentially grievous political consequences in the fall."

Which is all to say that when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued preliminary statements on how the contraception mandate would be applied to religiously-based institutions like hospitals and universities with a primarily public purpose, the GOP pounced on the situation with the hopes of exploiting it for political gain.

Never mind that 28 states had already instituted similar regulations with no fanfare or uproar from religious conservatives. This was different.

GOP strategists saw this as a slam dunk opportunity to criticize health care reform and paint President Obama as opposing religious liberty. If basic contraception access for women was the casualty, who cares? In fact, for some GOP politicians, like Rick Santorum, that was an added bonus!

Whether or not you think this amounts to a GOP “war on women,” it’s definitely a “war on women voters.”

Consider Mary Russell, a retired teacher from Iowa City, Iowa, who describes herself as an evangelical Christian and “old school” Republican of the moderate mold. Regarding the GOP presidential candidates, Ms. Russell says, “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business.” Now she reports she may vote for President Obama.

In a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll while in an imagined face-to-face match up, President Obama currently trails Mitt Romney by six percentage points with male voters,but the president has an 18 point lead with women --- across political parties.

A New York Times/CBS News poll in mid-February showed that women, who in a January poll had disapproved of Mr. Obama’s job performance by 48 percent to 46 percent, now approved of him by 53 percent to 38 percent.

March 21, 2012 2:44 PM  
Anonymous This is what hypocrisy looks like said...

A March 15th article by Reuters (Catholic bishops pressured Komen over Planned Parenthood) reveals that other groups, specifically the Catholic church and its bishops, had put pressure on the Komen Foundation. In particular, the 2011 announcement by Ohio bishops of a statewide policy banning church and parochial school donations to Komen “helped sway Komen’s leadership to cut funding to Planned Parenthood,” according to current and local Komen officials.

The relationship between the Catholic church and the Komen Foundation is indeed “complicated.” As Reuters details, the Catholic church “simultaneously contributes… and receives grants” from the breast cancer charity. Catholic dioceses have contributed to the Komen Foundation, through fundraisers at the local level. At the same time, at least $17.6 million of the donations Komen receives has gone to Catholic universities, hospitals and charities in the US in recent years. For instance, Georgetown University, a Jesuit institution in Washington, has received $15 million in Komen grants. In 2011, Catholic institutions overall received $7.4 million from Komen, substantially more than the $684,000 Planned Parenthood received that year.

When asked, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that there is no official policy about donating or not donating to Komen as such “funding activities take place at the local level.” The spokeswoman also noted that there were “no plans” to consider the issue.

But a “conservative shift” among local bishops — including the calls to cease donating to Komen and a greater focus on social issues — occurred at the same time as New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan became the head of the bishops’ conference in November of 2010. Under his leadership, the bishops’ conference has created a new ad hoc committee on religious liberty whose specific focus is opposing government policies which are seen as conflicting with official church teachings on issues such as abortion, contraception and gay marriage. As Reuters observes, this conservative shift among Catholic bishops has “coincided with the rise of social conservatives in Congress and state legislatures during the 2010 elections and has gathered pace during the 2012 presidential campaign.”

At the same time as the Catholic church has warned dioceses against fundraising for the Komen Foundation, Catholic institutions have receives millions of dollars in grants from Komen. As University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan says, “It is morally inconsistent, and difficult to explain, why you would condemn donations but continue to accept grants. It makes no ethical sense at all.”

Put another way: In regard to the Komen Foundation funding, the Catholic Church is quite glad to receive what is given (millions of dollars funding), but quite a bit less willing to give itself, due to certain policies.

March 22, 2012 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Komen's doing horribly now because people learned that when they give money to Komen, they're giving money to Planned Parenthood.

Now that the cat's out of the bag, Komen's toast.

March 22, 2012 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Virginia voters disapprove of two hotly debated measures, to make it harder to get an abortion and easier to buy a handgun, as job approval ratings for Gov. Bob McDonnell and the State Legislature both drop, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters approve 53 - 32 percent of the job Gov. McDonnell is doing, down from a 58 - 24 percent score February 9 and McDonnell's lowest rating since the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University began Virginia surveys June 29, 2011.

The State Legislature's negative 38 - 47 percent score is a 19-point shift from a 47 - 37 percent positive approval rating February 9 and the first time the legislature has received a negative grade.

Women approve of McDonnell 49 - 34 percent, down from 54 - 25 percent last month. Men approve 58 - 31 percent, compared to 62 - 23 percent last month.

Virginia voters disagree 52 - 41 percent with a new law that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound examination at least 24 hours before the procedure.

Voters say 72 - 21 percent that government should not make laws which try to convince women seeking an abortion to change their minds.

Voters also prefer 53 - 40 percent Virginia's old law which limited an individual's handgun purchases to one per month, over the new law which has no limits.

"The governor's numbers are down, from a net positive 34 percentage points last month to a net 21 points today, but he's still above the 50-percent mark," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The controversy over the ultrasound and handgun bills would be a logical explanation for the decline in his approval rating, which had been above 60 percent for much of last year."

"Virginia had been the only state surveyed by Quinnipiac University in which the State Legislature had received a net positive job approval," Brown added. "The fact that the legislature's approval dropped so much, while approval ratings for other statewide elected officials are basically unchanged indicates that voter dissatisfaction is targeted."

March 22, 2012 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Komen's doing horribly now because people learned that when they give money to Komen, they're giving money to Planned Parenthood.

Nice GOP talking point. Of course it's false, as usual.

Komen is doing horribly now because people are bypassing Komen and making contributions directly to Planned Parenthood instead.

Contributions to Planned Parenthood have soared while Koman "is struggling to raise money and repair its reputation after its decision to defund Planned Parenthood and subsequent reversal."

March 22, 2012 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republicans in Virginia proposed a law that would require women seeking abortions, even those resulting from rape or incest, to first submit to mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds -- a further invasion of their bodies.

This must have been written by a man. What do you think the procedure for a pap smear is?

Another point, if PP is doing so well with funding, than they really don’t need federal funding

March 22, 2012 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOP talking point? Who said this before me? Gimme a quote from a Republican! This was my original thought, though it's a pretty brainless one, I admit -- doesn't take much to figure this is why Komen's losing money.

March 22, 2012 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the whole idea that you give money to a charity that works to save life so they can give it to an organization that destroys life is ridiculous

when Komen did an about-face and decided to resume funding a pro-abortion group, their donations cratered

it's not complicated

it's not hard to figure out

if you're sober

March 22, 2012 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe Komen did re-fund planned parenthood, they just said they culd aply again.

March 22, 2012 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

prior to the publicity, I'm sure that people who gave to fight breast cancer had no idea that their money was going to kill unborn children

it should be, and possibly is, illegal to collect money under the pretense it will be used for a certain purpose and use it for something else

it's definitely dishonest

it's not complicated

it's not hard to figure out

if you're sober

March 22, 2012 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you know, none of the money from Komen went to abortions.

March 22, 2012 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


can you explain why people who give money to an organization which says it needs it to fight cancer shouldn't expect that the money won't go instead to an organization that favors killing kids before they can be born?

March 23, 2012 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the (Republican) pary, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them."
- Barry Goldwater

March 23, 2012 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOP talking point? Who said this before me? Gimme a quote from a Republican!

Are you kidding!? You haven't heard Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood and eliminate every American woman's right to control her own reproductive system??

GOP Senator Kyl said in 2011 as he was arguing to cut funding of Planned Parenthood, abortions are "well over 90 percent" of what Planned Parenthood does. When he learned abortion comprises barely 3% of Planned Parenthood's spending, Senator Kyl tried to walk back his remark saying it was "not intended to be a factual statement."

No, it was intended to be a lie.

Karen Handel is a former GOP Secretary of State, Georgia gubernatorial candidate hired by Koman last year and was the force behind Komen's decision to try to defund Planned Parenthood. Komen insiders showed internal emails to Laura Bassett and Soledad O'Brien, who said the emails confirmed Handel had been "pumping up and magnifying the attacks against Komen and the anti-Planned Parenthood protests..."
Last year, she even posted on her blog: “First, let me be clear, since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood,” which coincidentally shared its mission with Planned Parenthood to protect womens' health.

Earlier this month, GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski, who opposes the GOP push to defund womens' health providers like Planned Parenthood said: "I heard a lot [from my constituents] because it was in the news this weekend,”

“I will tell you, it’s not so much just the discussion about contraception that the Blunt amendment precipitated. There’s just an awful lot that’s been going on. There have been some comments made by some of our presidential candidates. There was the incendiary comments made by Rush Limbaugh.”

“I think [these incidents] are just adding to this sense that women’s health rights are being attacked — that in 2012 we’re having a conversation about whether or not contraception should be allowed."

"I think most thought that we were done with those discussions decades ago. So it’s been kind of an interesting week for women’s health issues.”

March 23, 2012 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Republican Party's ongoing war against women's health appears to be dragging down its presumptive presidential nominee.

According to a new Economist/YouGov poll, President Barack Obama is leading Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney among women by a 55 to 38 percent margin.

President Obama's whopping 17 point lead among women is the driving force behind his overall 47 to 41 percent lead in the poll. Women have a far more favorable view of the president than of Romney; President Obama's favorable/unfavorable rating among women is a strong 50 percent to 42 percent, while Romney's is a weak 36 percent to 46 percent. Romney is still doing better among women than his two primary rivals for the nomination, however. 50 percent of women view Rick Santorum unfavorably, and 60 percent of women have an unfavorable opinion of Newt Gingrich.

The poll suggests that Republicans are facing a serious gender gap. Unless Romney can shake his Etch A Sketch and make women forget his failure to denounce Rush Limbaugh and his promise to eliminate Planned Parenthood, he will have a very difficult time prevailing in the 2012 election.

March 23, 2012 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe Komen did re-fund planned parenthood, they just said they culd aply again.

That is not true. Komen did re-fund Planned Parenthood AND said they could apply again despite GOP witch hunts. Groups under investigation will be disqualified from Komen funding only if the probe is "criminal and conclusive in nature and not political." Here's the story from Reuters:

"WASHINGTON | Fri Feb 3, 2012 5:02pm EST
(Reuters) - The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation backed down from its decision to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion and birth control services, following a massive outcry by supporters of the world's largest breast cancer charity.

Komen's decision had thrust the group into America's deeply politicized debate over abortion rights and its apology on Friday may not satisfy the more vocal advocates on either side.

Planned Parenthood supporters, including local directors within Komen's ranks, say Komen had come under pressure from anti-abortion activists. Social conservatives had lauded the move to disengage from Planned Parenthood and said it would win Komen new supporters.

"We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives," Komen said in a statement on Friday signed by its board of directors and its founder Nancy Brinker.

Komen had said earlier this week it would cease to fund grants for breast cancer screening to Planned Parenthood under new rules to tighten eligibility. The guidelines excluded groups under investigation by U.S. authorities and Planned Parenthood is the subject of a probe by U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Republican from Florida who opposes abortion.

Planned Parenthood provides a variety of services - including reproductive healthcare, sex education, cancer screenings and information on sexually transmitted diseases - but its abortion role has put it at the forefront of the national debate.

Komen's move prompted a protest campaign on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook that reached a fever pitch on Thursday. Local Komen chapters sent letters to headquarters opposing the move, and by late Thursday night, its board convened a special meeting.

Komen said it will now amend its new funding criteria to "ensure that politics has no place in our grant process." The guidelines will make clear that a group under investigation will be disqualified only if the probe is "criminal and conclusive in nature and not political."

"We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities."

Planned Parenthood said it was "enormously grateful" that Komen amended its funding rules."

March 23, 2012 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Komen in turmoil, donations down sharply

Eve Ellis, a former New York board member whose family has raised or donated about $250,000, says she's closed her check book." Ellis lamented: "I've stopped giving to Komen because it no longer represents who I thought Komen was. And that, to me, is extremely sad."

S. Ariz. Komen chapter seeing drop in donations

TUCSON, Ariz. — A drop in donations to its biggest fundraiser of the year is creating a crisis for Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Southern Arizona chapter, its executive director said.

With the event less than two weeks away, registration this past week totaled 4,200, far less than the event's target of 11,000.

The event has a fundraising goal of $700,000 and so far has pulled in $200,000, said Jaimie Leopold, executive director of Komen Southern Arizona, which gives grants to local groups for breast cancer treatment, awareness, research and prevention. Last year's race raised $660,000. The race is the organization's biggest fundraiser of the year.

Leopold said participation is about 30 percent lower than where the organization needs to be this close to race day. Komen Southern Arizona says it needs to add another 4,000 registrations by Monday to meet its grants expectations.

"If 30 percent of the grants we want to give out won't be funded, I think that's a crisis, especially given the recession," Leopold said.

Part of the reason for flagging participation may be that this year's event is earlier than in the past and people aren't aware the race date is coming up. The event is usually held in April. Also, the recession has affected donations to charities nationwide.

But Leopold confirmed another reason for the drop is a recent spate of publicity over a national split between Planned Parenthood and the Susan G. Komen Foundation that created lingering mistrust, even though the relationship between the two organizations was later restored.

The national Komen group retreated and abandoned plans to cut funding to Planned Parenthood for breast-cancer screenings because it was under government investigation. The investigation into Planned Parenthood was launched by a Florida congressman who was urged by anti-abortion groups.

Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona has never received funding from the local organization because it has never applied. However, if it did, Planned Parenthood would be considered just like any other health-care providers that apply for grants, local Komen officials have said.

"People, donors need to have confidence in where they put their money. We've been working to engage the community," Leopold said. "We are committed to demonstrating we are a trustworthy philanthropy."

March 23, 2012 3:15 PM  

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