As you’ve probably heard, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation decided to yank their funding (hundreds of thousands of grant dollars) for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood clinics around the country. The official line is that Komen can’t support an organization being investigated by Congress — but considering that the only people in Congress who care about investigating Planned Parenthood are anti-choice lawmakers who have sought to end all federal support of the group — some of us aren’t smelling that cheese.
Reports Kate Sheppard for Mother Jones:
Komen has been under pressure from anti-abortion groups to drop its funding for Planned Parenthood, which received $680,000 from the anti-cancer group in 2011. Most recently, abortion foes forced a Christian publisher to stop printing pink Komen bibles and pressured bookstores to take them off shelves. Groups have also called on supporters to boycott Komen entirely, and decried the group as a “lie from the pit of Hell.” [...] pressure to end the Planned Parenthood funding may have also come from within Komen itself. Karen Handel was named senior vice president at Komen in April 2011, and is now “leading the organization’s federal and state advocacy efforts.” But before joining Komen, she was a candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary in Georgia, and was critical of Planned Parenthood.
Three million women and men visit Planned Parenthood clinics every year; over the past five years, Susan G. Komen allowed the health centers to provide nearly 170,000 breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals, notes GOOD. That’s a heck of lot of boobs that won’t be getting good cancer detection from Planned Parenthood now, and may not be able to afford it elsewhere. All because anti-choice advocates don’t approve of what the owners of said boobs might be doing during none-of-your-damn-business hours.
Caitlin over on Fit & Feminist is also Standing and has some excellent additional reasons to be pissed at Komen:
- The CEO of Komen makes $459,406 a year. Komen generated $421 million in gross revenue in 2010. The amount given to Planned Parenthood in 2011? $680,000.
- Komen is also one of the worst offenders when it comes to “pinkwashing.” Pinkwashing is problematic for many reasons, not least of all that it dresses up plain old consumerism as activism. If you want to really make a difference in a cause, save the money you would have spent on a pink tchotchke and donate it directly to an organization that supports your cause.
- But maybe the worst aspect of Komen’s pinkwashing is that many of their pink products contain carcinogens. I guess that’s one way to keep your organization in business, huh?
How can you stand with Planned Parenthood on this? Donate to them and/or other organizations that support and advocate for women’s health, particularly breast cancer prevention, without the hypocrisy and judgment. GOOD has a great list. I’d also add the Breast Cancer Fund, which works to pinpoint environmental causes of the disease (something Komen has no interest in doing, seeing how it might cut into their pinkwashed, product-heavy fundraising efforts).
And don’t forget to tell the Komen Foundation where your money went — and why they won’t be getting it.
[Photos via Planned Parenthood.]