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January 31, 2012 4:47 PM   Subscribe

NPR is reporting that the Susan G. Komen foundation is severing it's ties and halting grants to Planned Parenthood, cutting off "hundreds of thousands of dollars", mainly earmarked for breast exams. Komen says the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress — a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups.

In September, 2011, Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla) sent a letter to Planned Parenthood demanding:

Internal audits from 1998 to 2010 showing how much federal money Planned Parenthood received and how it was spent, including if the government had to be reimbursed for improper billing to Medicaid, the federal-state healthcare program for the poor.

State-level audits of the group or its affiliates going back 20 years.

Policy statements that certify there is no co-mingling of federal dollars in programs that fund abortions to Planned Parenthood’s clients;

Explanations that convey the group’s procedures for reporting “criminal conduct,” to include statutory rape, sexual abuse, and suspected sex trafficking.

The decision to halt grants may have been made more than two months ago. The pro-life organization Life Decisions International took the Komen foundation off it's "dishonorable mention" boycott list on December 1st.

Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before, going to at least 19 of its affiliates for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (313 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pro-Life only counts pre-birth, apparently.
posted by Chuffy at 4:51 PM on January 31, 2012 [73 favorites]


This is another good reason for me to continue to support the Avon Walk I think.
posted by MrBobaFett at 4:51 PM on January 31, 2012


Oh, man, and I've been a big supporter of the Susan Komen Race for the Cure. Going to do some more research in the hopes that this is overblown.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:53 PM on January 31, 2012




This is the problem with relying on philanthropy to fund important public services.
posted by Nomyte at 4:57 PM on January 31, 2012 [160 favorites]


So, that money that I set aside to sponsor my friends participating in the walks every fall? That money's going to Planned Parenthood instead. It's not much (certainly not nearly enough to offset the loss of the Komen grants), but I'll be damned if I send a single penny to a charity that opposes reproductive liberty.
posted by deadmessenger at 4:58 PM on January 31, 2012 [65 favorites]


Prepare to open fire:

the Susan G. Komen Million Dollar Elite

Call each one of these companies and tell them you are disappointed in their support of Komen due to the fact that they play politics with women's health.

the Million Dollar Council Call each one of these companies and tell them you are disappointed in their support of Komen due to the fact that they play politics with women's health.

The Race for the Cure National Sponsors Call each one of these companies and tell them you are disappointed in their support of Komen due to the fact that they play politics with women's health.

The Corporate Sponsors
Let them know how disappointed they are.

Make these people radioactive to business. Cut them off at the knees. Capitalism in action.

Pass these ideas and lists on to many other people. tweet them.

call local politicians who are involved. Tell them they won't get your vote. Pass it on.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:58 PM on January 31, 2012 [146 favorites]


Fuck Komen and their pinkwashing bullshit. PP gets my money now.
posted by emjaybee at 5:00 PM on January 31, 2012 [59 favorites]


With all those names, and all those luncheons, and all those walks, and all that pink, I'd like to see one tab on that Susan G Komen website that says, "What we've achieved" in terms of cure. I mean, enough with the awareness already. They've turned the marketing of breast cancer into an industry, with no goal in sight. This doesn't surprise me in the least.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:01 PM on January 31, 2012 [39 favorites]


Thanks, emjaybee, a lot!
posted by thinkpiece at 5:02 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]




I am disappoint :(

I'm pretty torn on this. I'm a big supporter of reproductive equity, but I don't want to stop supporting the fight against breast cancer. Aside from what Ironmouth suggested, what else should we be doing? What are other worthwhile cancer organizations?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:03 PM on January 31, 2012


YANMD's bean counter, but how much does a typical breast exam cost?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:04 PM on January 31, 2012


I love this. Really, I do. It's great watching how these pigfuckers invoke their religious beliefs for one part of what PP does being 'offensive', and forget that by doing all this, they're passively violating a commandment.

Because if women can't afford breast cancer screenings due to the defunding, and they die of it, that would seem a passive yet cheerful violation of "Thou Shalt Not Kill".

No, I take that back. I hate it and it sickens me.


cjorgenen: http://health.costhelper.com/mammogram.html gives some idea. Sure, $80 doesn't seem like much, but you'd be really surprised how much that can take out of a budget.
posted by mephron at 5:06 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


From 2008:
For an uninsured patient, typical full-price cost of a mammogram ranges from $80 to $120 or more, with an average of about $102
That's not a small cost for someone on a limited budget.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:08 PM on January 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


that jerk Josh Trevino tweeted me "you and your sixteen followers" when I replied to his response that Joan Walsh and those upset could do anything, suggesting that we contact the sponsors. I tweeted back thanking him for his RT so everyone could know!

He deleted that shit in 10 seconds!

Also, tweet all of the people on the corporate sponsor list and include the @komenforthecure on it. They will get the message fast.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:08 PM on January 31, 2012 [13 favorites]


What goes around comes around. If the GOP "wins" the abortion wars, there will be new generations of poor voters born who will skew heavily towards the Democrats.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:10 PM on January 31, 2012


"CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women across the United States."

Just in case.
posted by merelyglib at 5:12 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I looked Komen up on Charity Navigator. At first my reaction was "Hmm, 12% for administrative expenses isn't too bad". Then I noticed that it was $37.5 million, and another $24 million for fundraising expenses. What the hell are they spending that kinda coin on? Heck, that Million Dollar Council referenced above doesn't even cover a third of their expenses!
posted by Runes at 5:14 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


But how can I fulfill my destiny as a walking uterus if I die of breast cancer? Oh, right - should have been born rich. My bad!
posted by Space Kitty at 5:14 PM on January 31, 2012 [22 favorites]


And this is why I do Relay For Life and avoid anything branded as "for the cure."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:15 PM on January 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


This particular subject has been on the Blue before, but I just bookmarked this page this morning: The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion.

Just in case you are feeling a little apathetic about the situation.
posted by Xoebe at 5:17 PM on January 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


Again, everyone tweet the NFL. They are especially vulnerable at this very moment.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:19 PM on January 31, 2012


It's a shame that the Komen org has cornered the market so completely that some don't know how to support research without them.
posted by just sayin at 5:20 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


ugh, can we please stop using the horrible hypocritical term "pro-life"? there's no such thing, it's only anti-choice and anti-women, as these vile shitbags have proven time and again.
posted by elizardbits at 5:22 PM on January 31, 2012 [55 favorites]


Re: pinkwashing - highly recommend PINK RIBBONS, INC., a documentary that'll make you spit in anger at the 'pink' industry.
posted by jettloe at 5:23 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


suggest the following tweet;

the @NFL supports @komenforthecure and supports #playingpoliticswithwomens lives. pass it on!

this is an especially vulnerable time for the NFL. pounding them right now is critical. Of every sponsor, they are the ones to hit. Its SUPER BOWL Week.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:27 PM on January 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


Komen's Pink Together has a facebook page, btw.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:31 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, where do see that they're partnered with the NFL?
posted by neroli at 5:33 PM on January 31, 2012


Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to fuck in the first place?

The sad thing is this bit's 16 years old now and things don't seem to have changed for the better.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 5:35 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will now be going out of my way to avoid any of the Komen breast-cancer swag. No pink ribbon anything. Not because I don't care about breast cancer - I do, very much.

Komen have, essentially, just told all of the women who rely on Planned Parenthood for their medical care that they are not worth the pink batteries and yogurt cups for the cure. They're deciding that the people who depend on Planned Parenthood are not good enough to be treated by their group -- though, they can certainly still buy the merchandise!

You don't get to decide who 'deserves' care, Komen. That is not your call to make. Medicine is not a meritocracy, and I'm thoroughly sick of the attitude that assumes it is, especially when it comes to care for women.
posted by cmyk at 5:35 PM on January 31, 2012 [20 favorites]


elizardbits: "ugh, can we please stop using the horrible hypocritical term "pro-life"? there's no such thing, it's only anti-choice and anti-women, as these vile shitbags have proven time and again."

I prefer "pro-coat-hanger", but I'm not really known for subtlety.
posted by notsnot at 5:36 PM on January 31, 2012 [33 favorites]


I just realized that I am poor because I am a dirty whore and deserve to be punished with breast cancer in light of my sins against God. Thanks for setting me straight, Susan G. Komen.
posted by Foam Pants at 5:40 PM on January 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


I have a Susan G. Komen Pink soccer ball, that they put out in cooperation with the MLS.

Now I have even more reason to go kick it.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:42 PM on January 31, 2012


NFL seems to be partnered with the american cancer society, but some teams, like the cowboys*, have a relationship with komen. unfortunately, the cowboys aren't exactly in the news this late into the season.

*that link also has a lot of info about sponsers, like egglands best and new balance shoes.
posted by nadawi at 5:42 PM on January 31, 2012


Fuck.
posted by Splunge at 5:42 PM on January 31, 2012


First ACORN, now Planned Parenthood. Has James O'Keefe made a video 'infiltrating' PP yet?
posted by narcoleptic at 5:43 PM on January 31, 2012


Wait, where do see that they're partnered with the NFL?

They've made some donations in the past. I think they might have gone away from them and focused on the ACS now. So I'd call off the dogs for them.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:43 PM on January 31, 2012


Oh, this is so disappointing. I just wrote to our local chapter of Komen to express my disappointment. At least one of the articles suggested that local affiliates were shocked and disappointed with this choice as well, so I wrote with that in mind.

This is awful for the low income women who will lose access to affordable breast cancer screening. This is awful for the thousands of people who've supported the organization assuming they were pro-woman. This is awful for the hundreds of people working for the organization that probably never imagined that they would do something to make it harder for women to get breast cancer screening.

Enjoy your victory, anti-choice people. You've probably just murdered a bunch of strangers.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:44 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Anyone written a guid on donating to the Breast Cancer causes Komen supports that bypasses Komen?
posted by jeffburdges at 5:44 PM on January 31, 2012


"CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women across the United States."

Just in case.


Yes, CDC funds these cancer screening services... through contracts with providers including Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.
posted by blendor at 5:45 PM on January 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


What are other worthwhile cancer organizations?

National Cancer Institute

Cancer Research Institute

Also, if I may make a personal plea: colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men and women alike in the U.S. However, it still retains a stigma that significantly limits its discussion, fundraising, awareness, etc. (Quick: what color ribbon are you supposed to wear for colon cancer?)

I'm happy to be alive, nearly two years after my diagnosis of colon cancer, thanks to my tremendous good fortune to have access to great doctors and great treatment options at one of the best hospitals in the country. But making some of my treatment decisions was tricky, because -- to my shock -- some of the finely granulated questions my oncologist and I were grappling with regarding outcomes for various chemotherapy protocols vs. risks of long-term side effects hadn't ever been studied specifically in patients like me; they'd only been studied in breast cancer patients (where the funding is), so the results had to be extrapolated for other cancer patients. (Xeloda and Oxaliplatin, the combo I was on, are both used for breast and colon cancer.)

Less than two generations ago, it was considered highly taboo to speak publicly about breast cancer (Betty Ford, bless her, helped break that barrier). So in the interests of breaking down a similar barrier, I'd like to put out a plea for the Colon Cancer Alliance.

/soapbox
posted by scody at 5:46 PM on January 31, 2012 [105 favorites]


I respect groups that raise money to counter breast cancer but in fact they've been so successful that they've drained the funding out of organizations that fight the real top killer of women, heart disease. Poke around on a story about this and you'll hear a lot of malevolence aimed at the breast-cancer groups. No one says it too loudly because how can you say a good cause has any downside? But apparently it does.
posted by etaoin at 5:46 PM on January 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


Fuck indeed.
posted by twirlypen at 5:48 PM on January 31, 2012


Cancer, like death in general, is the great equalizer. Cancer doesn't care if you're republican or democrat, black or white, male or female, gay or straight or anything in between. So no matter what party wins any election, no politician will ever attempt to pass a bill outlawing cancer research.

Yet it is entirely possible that we will see a disgusting loss of women's reproductive rights within our lifetimes, because there are vile human beings in positions of power who think women do not deserve the right to govern their own bodies.

I gave an unbelievable fuckton of money towards cancer research after my mom died in 2010, and if I could take every penny back and give it to Planned Parenthood right now I would do so without a second fucking thought*. Because yeah, fuck cancer forever and ever. But, even more, fuck anyone who tries to take away my goddamn human rights.



*also i would use a portion of it to construct a giant mechanical space fist with which to punch large swathes of humanity in the face simultaneously.
posted by elizardbits at 5:50 PM on January 31, 2012 [28 favorites]


Anyone written a guid on donating to the Breast Cancer causes Komen supports that bypasses Komen?

Well, you can look at their 990s. Almost all of their donations at to large research hospitals and universities for research, education. Smaller amounts go to treatment screening.

Interestingly enough, I just went through their 2010 990, and it did not list any grants to PP. So...?
posted by Lutoslawski at 5:55 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


go to; research and education; treatment and screening.
posted by Lutoslawski at 5:56 PM on January 31, 2012


Yes, CDC funds these cancer screening services... through contracts with providers including Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.
posted by blendor

I'm not seeing that... can you give me a link? All I've got is what's at the CDC site. As far as I can tell there's nothing direct.
posted by merelyglib at 5:57 PM on January 31, 2012


Brown ribbon for colon cancer.
posted by Renoroc at 5:57 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Make these people radioactive to business. Cut them off at the knees. Capitalism in action.

Capitalism is "the one with the gold makes the rules". We've already seen that in action. We need to see socialism in action: the workers seizing the means of production. Poor people aren't going to win capitalism. Ever.
posted by DU at 5:58 PM on January 31, 2012 [18 favorites]


Can't wait to donate to PP.
posted by Oh OK HA HA at 6:01 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brown ribbon for colon cancer.

Just about everyone assumes that (or if they're not assuming it, they think it's a good joke). Just about everyone is wrong.
posted by scody at 6:01 PM on January 31, 2012 [12 favorites]


Canadian version, but there was an interesting discussion of the breast cancer fundraising industry, and the Pink Ribbons, Inc. film on CBC last Friday.
posted by sneebler at 6:04 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


What the hell were they thinking? Note to the foundation: if you cave in to conservative pressure groups in order to get off their shit list, you'll just end up on the one shit list you can not afford to be on: your donors'.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:08 PM on January 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


Sigh... The thing that upsets me almost as much as the news itself is reading through the reactions on twitter.
posted by inigo2 at 6:08 PM on January 31, 2012


Pink should now be the color for women's reproductive rights. Susan G. Komen obviously doesn't care anymore about it.
posted by Leezie at 6:10 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


What a sociopathic move. Shame on Komen and shame on the politicians.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:14 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Susan G. Komen is a business and this is how businesses operate. Even the feel-good ones.
posted by jsavimbi at 6:14 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Alright, so, pink ribbon for breast cancer. Sure. Grey for brain cancer. Yep. Still with you. Gallbladder cancer - green! Excellent! Prostate - blue! Logic prevails again!

Ok, I've got this, so yellow will be... bladder cancer! No? Sarcoma? Seriously? And colon cancer is... dark blue? I'm not even sure what the one with zebra stripes is, to be honest, but it's gotta be one sassy cancer.
posted by sonika at 6:18 PM on January 31, 2012


What's their product, jsavimbi?
posted by Adventurer at 6:20 PM on January 31, 2012


We need to see socialism in action: the workers seizing the means of production.

How old are you?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:22 PM on January 31, 2012


Jsavimbi, Komen calls itself "the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists ... working to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures." - that's antithetical to the goal of a business, which is the trade of goods or services.

Regarding colon cancer: many Planned Parenthood Health Centers also provide health care to older women and men, including screenings for colon cancer.
posted by gingerest at 6:27 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


To follow up on Ironmouth's suggestions, here are the Twitter feeds of Komen's major sponsors and partners:

@AmericanAir
@belk
@CaterpillarInc
@Ford
@PinkTogether
@newbalance
@Walgreens
@YoplaitYogurt

@3MNews
@Titleist
@FootJoy
@AskDotCom
@Dell
@deluxecorp
@Energizer
@FuzeBeverage
@GeorgiaPacific
@HallmarkPR
@HALcruises
@HSN
@KitchenAidUSA
@Lowes
@iloveOTB
@Oracle
@oreck
@officialpandora
@PaylessShoes
@PrincessCruises
@remax
@SimonPropertyGp
@TheMohawkGroup
@republicoftea
@WacoalAmerica
@ZTAFraternity
@zumba
posted by neroli at 6:27 PM on January 31, 2012 [17 favorites]


Just wanted to throw this out there, for those of you who were wondering where else to donate your money for breast cancer.

Disclaimer, I heard this information in a class/ seminar more than a year ago so I don't have links to the exact information I saw there. But this probably won't be surprising or hard to find information on.

There is a huge discrepancy in breast cancer mortality rates between women of different races and socioeconomic classes. Again, this is probably not surprising. But women who are poor and don't have insurance often simply wait too long to see a doctor. They may not get mammograms at all, and by the time they even discover that they have cancer, it's too late to treat. This shows how even though white women get breast cancer at higher rates, it's black women who are dying from it at the highest rates. Part of the problem is lack of information and support, too- just because Planned Parenthood may be (or have been) offering services like mammograms, many women might not realize it. Or they think they can't afford it. Or they don't have the means to get there. Or they get lost to follow-up after one time because they don't really know how often they are supposed to go. And so on. Patient education and support is a really important step that comes even before a woman will make the decision to go to Planned Parenthood or anywhere to get a mammogram at all.

Don't get me wrong- money for research is really, really important. But survival rates are actually pretty good for those who are lucky enough to catch it early. So if you want to help out with decreasing overall mortality from breast cancer, consider seeking out programs that provide patient education, counseling, and screening for minority, urban, and other low income/ uninsured patient groups. A google search for "mammogram access project" plus your state ought to yield good results. (I believe this is the group that the person who gave the talk to us was from- the discrepancy is embarrassingly bad in Chicago.)

And I agree with Scody. Colon cancer awareness needs to be increased in a big way. Also, the number ONE cause of preventable cancer deaths in women is lung cancer. From smoking. How about some more awareness about that subject?
posted by GastrocNemesis at 6:29 PM on January 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


This is disgusting.

To ensure that the Komen Foundation’s decision doesn’t jeopardize any woman’s access to lifesaving screenings and services, Planned Parenthood has launched a Breast Health Emergency Fund.

Skip the Susan Komen Foundation and donate your dollars straight to Planned Parenthood. And make your thoughts known on any of their facebook pages.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:31 PM on January 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


So let me get this straight:

* Susan G. Komen adopts rules prohibiting funds going to causes that are under "congressional investigation"
* House Republicans initiate a witch hunt
* ???
* Profit?

What else am I missing here?
posted by Talez at 6:32 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


This definitely sucks of Komen. But Komen was only supporting about 34,000 breast exams through Planned Parenthood affiliates each year - which is not that many, and is something like less than half a percent of what Komen funds. Planned Parenthood still gives almost a million breast exams a year - so it isn't like free screening at PP is going away.
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:38 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


We need to see socialism in action: the workers seizing the means of production.

How old are you?


Old enough to have gotten over calling socialists teenage idealists.
posted by DU at 6:49 PM on January 31, 2012 [40 favorites]


Fuck these people. I've always had the feeling Komen was too slick and corporate.

This just confirms that.
posted by Fister Roboto at 6:49 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


This reminds me of when the American Cancer Society refused money from atheists, 500k. Very craven.
posted by RuvaBlue at 7:00 PM on January 31, 2012


Sorry, merelyglib, I was in a rush when I posted that earlier. It may vary from state to state, but generally CDC awards grants to states that apply for them (see grants.gov for funding announcements), and then the states who receive funding for cancer screening generally don't actually provide the services themselves, they contract with health care providers who actually provide the services, while the states administer the grant itself and oversee provider activities so that they comply with CDC guidelines. Generally the health care providers who have been around a while and are familiar with women's health issues are some of the best at screening for breast and cervical cancer and getting women who are diagnosed into treatment.

That's the short version... I don't know of a link I can point you to offhand.
posted by blendor at 7:01 PM on January 31, 2012


You can better believe that every woman I know is going to get an earful about this crap. Right off the bat they've just lost 5 entrys for the Run.

As I've said before, get the fuck out of my uterus!

I'm just betting that out of any five politicians you pick, three desperately need audited and will be found to be either scamming or evading on their taxes. Let's look first at the assholes behind this sorry effort to bring down PP.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:13 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


What if they had a Run and nobody came?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:16 PM on January 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


I really, really don't understand conservatives: they don't want people (including women) to have access to birth control, nor do they want to educate and care for the resulting children born to poverty. Sex and families are not something that only the middle class and wealthy get access to, regardless of how much some of them would like to change that.
posted by smirkette at 7:18 PM on January 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


I really, really don't understand conservatives: they don't want people (including women) to have access to birth control, nor do they want to educate and care for the resulting children born to poverty. Sex and families are not something that only the middle class and wealthy get access to, regardless of how much some of them would like to change that.

It's easy to understand: conservatives seem to be coming from the Puritan stance that sex is dirty and nasty and is something that only married people do in order to have children. Anyone who shows any evidence of having sex outside of those narrow bounds must be punished, either directly or by being forced to "live with the consequences" of their immoral actions.

That this puritanical stance also means that women will possibly die of breast cancer, well, that's an acceptable attrition of the population who shouldn't be relying on nasty evil organizations which cater to all those whores anyway.
posted by hippybear at 7:25 PM on January 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


Crap. A few months ago Bishop Blair out here withdrew the Archdiocese of Toledo's support of the Koman Foundation because of their ties to Planned Parenthood. Our congregation showed up to mass wearing pink but I'm sure it is the accumulation of shit like that that cause Koman to buckle.
posted by charred husk at 7:29 PM on January 31, 2012


that's antithetical to the goal of a business

If someone believes a mission statement should reflect the goals of an organization then I have some beachfront condos in Vermont to be had at a great price.

Nancy Goodman Brinker, a Bushie, is the CEO who pays herself $459,406 a year. Now you tell me that's not a great business to be in.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:29 PM on January 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


jsavimbi, according to Charity Navigator, Brinker isn't compensated. The previous CEO got that salary.
posted by merelyglib at 7:43 PM on January 31, 2012


[pls take socialism GRAR straight to MeMail, thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:45 PM on January 31, 2012


[ZenMasterThis, DU, cut it out please.]
posted by cortex at 7:45 PM on January 31, 2012


So Susan G. Komen gives that money to another organization...what's the big deal? Planned Parenthood ain't the only game in town. There are plenty of other worthy organizations that DON'T do abortions.
posted by republican at 7:46 PM on January 31, 2012


So Susan G. Komen gives that money to another organization...what's the big deal? Planned Parenthood ain't the only game in town. There are plenty of other worthy organizations that DON'T do abortions.

Women's health is not a fucking game.
posted by raztaj at 7:48 PM on January 31, 2012 [47 favorites]


So Susan G. Komen gives that money to another organization...what's the big deal? Planned Parenthood ain't the only game in town. There are plenty of other worthy organizations that DON'T do abortions.

And? Abortions are legal in this country.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:52 PM on January 31, 2012 [32 favorites]


I don't think that Komen is a business, exactly, but I do think that they've really hitched their wagon to mega-corporiations and to those corporations' efforts to use breast cancer for marketing purposes. And that choice has consequences. It means that they can't piss people off, because their money comes from having a squeaky clean image among consumers. It means they can't ask questions that will piss off their corporate funders, like whether environmental factors might cause breast cancer. They have to be very bland and very safe, and I don't know if I think that's a great stance for a disease-advocacy organization to take. And this episode shows why: they'd rather literally kill women than piss off right-wing consumers, because their entire funding model depends on not pissing off big groups of consumers.
posted by craichead at 7:54 PM on January 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wow, the rare double-mod rebuke.

Also, fuck these anti-life, anti-choice conservative Christians. Fuck them right in the ear, with ear cancer or something, I guess.
posted by Aizkolari at 7:54 PM on January 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


No prob. I understand.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:55 PM on January 31, 2012


Lutoslawski: "This definitely sucks of Komen. But Komen was only supporting about 34,000 breast exams through Planned Parenthood affiliates each year - which is not that many, and is something like less than half a percent of what Komen funds. Planned Parenthood still gives almost a million breast exams a year - so it isn't like free screening at PP is going away."

Oh, "only 34,000". So those 34,000 women who don't get screened at all next year, they're expendable for political gain? Do they get to choose if they are stuck on the front line of the anti-choice crusade driven by misogynistic douchebags who think they get to decide for women what we need, what we want, and what we deserve when it comes to reproductive health? Or since it's ONLY a small portion of what Komen funds, it doesn't really matter? Nice.

I've always generously sponsored a team of friends who participate in the local 5K. Makes me terribly sad, because the mom of the group is a survivor, but I'm pretty sure they'll understand why that money is going to Planned Parenthood instead. I know it's ONLY 34,000 screenings, but I'm still not OK with that.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 7:57 PM on January 31, 2012 [12 favorites]


But Komen was only supporting about 34,000 breast exams through Planned Parenthood affiliates each year - which is not that many, and is something like less than half a percent of what Komen funds.

Lutoslawski, can you give me a cite for that? It's useful info, thanks.
posted by mediareport at 7:58 PM on January 31, 2012


According to Planned Parenthood, its centers performed more than 4 million breast exams over the past five years, including nearly 170,000 as a result of Komen grants

170,000 divided by 5 is 34,000. I'm guessing that's where the number is coming from. Not sure if that counts the staff it paid for as well--doctors, techs, etc.
posted by fyrebelley at 8:04 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Twitter is blowing up on this; can't wait to see what kind of fun hashtags tomorrow will bring.

Oh, Komen is @komenforthecure if anyone feels Tweet-y in the meantime.
posted by emjaybee at 8:07 PM on January 31, 2012


I donated to Planned Parenthood because it was that or punch a fucking hole in the wall.
posted by Zozo at 8:12 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh lordy, I've angered anti-abortion folks on the various Komen Facebook pages.
posted by runningwithscissors at 8:13 PM on January 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't want to stop supporting the fight against breast cancer. Aside from what Ironmouth suggested, what else should we be doing? What are other worthwhile cancer organizations?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:03 PM on January 31


Give directly to Planned Parenthood and earmark it for mammograms, or a mammogram access project. Or if you'd like the money to go to research, look for a university hospital which does breast cancer research - there's likely to be one near you.
posted by joannemerriam at 8:15 PM on January 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Please consider "liking" Planned Parenthood's Facebook page, and following them on Twitter. Donating is also obviously great, but giving a PP visible public following is also vitally important.
posted by raztaj at 8:19 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


It means that they can't piss people off, because their money comes from having a squeaky clean image among consumers.

Well, they've certainly managed *that*, haven't they?
posted by eriko at 8:19 PM on January 31, 2012


So Susan G. Komen gives that money to another organization...what's the big deal? Planned Parenthood ain't the only game in town. There are plenty of other worthy organizations that DON'T do abortions.

Putting aside the facts that Planned Parenthood is the closest place for some people, and that reducing the number of places where a person can get an affordable breast exam is going to make it harder to get a timely appointment at the places that are left: Breast exams are the kind of thing people tend to let slide as long as they can, especially if they're stressed out by lack of funds or can only take so much time off work or assume they'll never get cancer or are afraid to find out they have it. A lot of women who don't have much cash rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, pap smears, and STI tests, among other services they see an immediate need for. (More than 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does consists of preventive and primary care services, by the way.) While they're in the office, the examiner asks, "when was the last time you had a breast exam?" And then they have the opportunity to say "OK, fine, as long as I'm here." What percentage of those people are going to be sure to make separate appointments for timely breast exams elsewhere? It's really not big enough. If you're serious about keeping people healthy you want to make it as easy as possible for them. Not just say "health is only for people who recognize how important it is and will overcome whatever obstacles are put in front of them in order to safeguard it." Because there are only a million perfectly common psychological reasons a lot of us/them have to be coaxed and prodded into it. Via commercials, via supplements added to everybody's water, via minute clinics in the drugstore.

Meanwhile the only way removing breast exams from Planned Parenthood can affect the abortion rate is by increasing the mortality rate among women who could have one.
posted by Adventurer at 8:20 PM on January 31, 2012 [13 favorites]




"It happened to my family," said Roxanne Donovan, whose sister runs Kites for a Cure, a family kite-flying event that raises money for lung cancer research. "They came after us ferociously with a big law firm. They said they own 'cure' in a name and we had to stop using it, even though we were raising money for an entirely different cause."

Jumpin Jehosaphat. Really, Komen?
posted by mediareport at 8:33 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


@slmtd&hcjrmints: I'm a big supporter of reproductive equity, but I don't want to stop supporting the fight against breast cancer. Aside from what Ironmouth suggested, what else should we be doing? What are other worthwhile cancer organizations?

@joannemerriam: Give directly to Planned Parenthood and earmark it for mammograms, or a mammogram access project.

Planned Parenthood has announced a "Breast Health Emergency Fund". If you wish to redirect money to breast cancer screening at Planned Parenthood, give to PPFA and mark it for that fund. The fund was started in response to the Komen thing (today) with a $250K grant from the Fikes family foundation.

And remember, if you don't have a family foundation (because you're not the president of an oil company), your company may match your donations to Planned Parenthood. I am amused every time I see a matching donation from the Fortune 10 I work for to the local PP affiliate. You could be equally amused.
posted by Mad_Carew at 8:35 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Little quibble, it bothers me when some people are complaining/attacking Susan G. Koman, because Susan G. Koman is a woman who died of breast cancer long ago before this whole foundation was started. Can we say Koman Foundation, or For The Cure foundation and leave poor Susan out of it.
I'm sure I'm being over sensitive, but I thought I'd toss it out there.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:37 PM on January 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


"It happened to my family," said Roxanne Donovan, whose sister runs Kites for a Cure, a family kite-flying event that raises money for lung cancer research. "They came after us ferociously with a big law firm. They said they own 'cure' in a name and we had to stop using it, even though we were raising money for an entirely different cause."

Somebody notify Robert Smith...
posted by Mad_Carew at 8:47 PM on January 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


Interestingly, Nancy Brinker also hosted a "forum" for presidential candidates in 2007... with Mitt Romney as the only guest. Other candidates submitted videotaped statements. Romney got to sit on a big pink pillow.

There's a clip of it on the Komen site which, unfortunately for today's discussion, doesn't include the bit that USAToday mentions, "that cancer prevention and detection... would improve nationally if more people could afford routine health care. 'For that to happen, in my view, we have to have everybody insured,' the Republican said.'" (The clip does have a nice bit where he suggests a... unique.... definition of what "profit" is for pharmaceutical companies. Apparently it all goes into R&D?)
posted by argonauta at 8:56 PM on January 31, 2012


Oh, "only 34,000". So those 34,000 women who don't get screened at all next year, they're expendable for political gain? Do they get to choose if they are stuck on the front line of the anti-choice crusade driven by misogynistic douchebags who think they get to decide for women what we need, what we want, and what we deserve when it comes to reproductive health? Or since it's ONLY a small portion of what Komen funds, it doesn't really matter? Nice.

Like I said, it sucks of the Komen Foundation. I'm certainly not trying to defend them on this, or to say that 34k isn't significant. I was just pointing out that the Komen Foundation is not solely responsible for all the free screenings available through PP, and this won't stop PP from doing its work.

The worst part about this whole situation is that Komen's clout is huge - and while the amounts they gave to PP were a small fraction of their total charitable giving, them caving on this gives credence to the conservatives on this issue, and the harmful impact of that probably outweighs the mere dollars.
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:58 PM on January 31, 2012


Out of curiosity I did an Open Secrets search on Komen founder Nancy Brinker. She's donated $1150 to the Republican National Committee this year. Perhaps useful information, since Open Secrets shows no other record of any donations. I can't help think Brinker has recently decided it's time to choose a public side in the culture wars.
posted by mediareport at 9:02 PM on January 31, 2012


I think they're ultimately going to do significantly more damage to themselves in terms of donations than they were giving in grants. But, I guess its all worth it to them if they can make people who hate women happy.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:03 PM on January 31, 2012


Oops, that's just the 2012 contributions. Anyone want to guess what a search in previous years will find?
posted by mediareport at 9:04 PM on January 31, 2012


I think they're ultimately going to do significantly more damage to themselves in terms of donations than they were giving in grants.

I actually think the fallout might be that a lot of otherwise donors to the Komen Foundation will give their money directly to PP, and it will far exceed the amount the Foundation ever gave to PP.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:07 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, do an advanced search on Brinker, Nancy in Texas and you get a long list of donations to Republicans. Hey, it's her right, for sure; just saying it's not far-fetched to imagine she's recently been convinced to step her conservative activism up a notch and include the Komen Foundation in her works for *that* cause.
posted by mediareport at 9:10 PM on January 31, 2012


That Karen Handel is a piece of work:

Karen Handel, who was endorsed by Sarah Palin during her unsuccessful bid for governor of Georgia in 2010, has been the Foundation's Senior Vice President for Public Policy since April 2011. During her gubernatorial candidacy, she ran on an anti-choice platform, vowing that if elected, she'd defund Planned Parenthood. Handel wrote on her campaign blog,

I will be a pro-life governor who will work tirelessly to promote a culture of life in Georgia…. I believe that each and every unborn child has inherent dignity, that every abortion is a tragedy, and that government has a role, along with the faith community, in encouraging women to choose life in even the most difficult of circumstances…. since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.

She even promised to eliminate funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings provided by the organization.
posted by merelyglib at 9:11 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I actually think the fallout might be that a lot of otherwise donors to the Komen Foundation will give their money directly to PP, and it will far exceed the amount the Foundation ever gave to PP.

I hope so. I give to PP annually as it is (in gratitude for the fact that they were virtually the only affordable health care I had access to for several years after college and grad school), and I just doubled my donation tonight. I bet I'm not the only one.
posted by scody at 9:11 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm glad to hear this isn't as bad as it could be, but it ain't too cool either. Details from the press release:

"To ensure that the Komen Foundation’s decision doesn’t jeopardize any woman’s access to lifesaving screenings and services, Planned Parenthood has launched a Breast Health Emergency Fund. The fund will offset the support that 19 local Planned Parenthood programs stand to lose from Komen. The Komen-funded Planned Parenthood programs have helped thousands of women in rural and underserved communities get breast health education, screenings, and referrals for mammograms. ... Over the past five years, Planned Parenthood health centers with Komen program funding have provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams out of the more than four million clinical breast exams performed nationwide at Planned Parenthood health centers, as well as more than 6,400 mammogram referrals out of 70,000 mammogram referrals."
posted by Adventurer at 9:12 PM on January 31, 2012


Add @generalmills to the Tweet list. They own a controlling share in Yoplait and feature Komen promotions on product lines beyond just Yoplait.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:13 PM on January 31, 2012


PP hasn't been on my contribution list lately, due to other pressing concerns. Guess I'll have to revise that list.
posted by theora55 at 9:26 PM on January 31, 2012


The Komen Foundation’s leadership did not respond to Planned Parenthood requests to meet with the Komen Board of Directors about the decision.

Oh for fuck's sake.
posted by mediareport at 9:31 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


The more I think, and read, about this, the angrier I get. (Maybe I'll get some fun replies on Twitter.)

We get this from every possible side - women being told what's best for them, how to act, how to have merit or worth or value, all of this imposed from the outside with no thought about whether the women who are expected to conform to these stupid standards even consent to it. And god help those of us who don't, or can't.

I'm not surprised that yet another big organization has caved to the misogynistic GOP machine. I am appalled that an org founded by women, to promote womens' health, has caved to the pressure. I want to ask them: have they really never noticed that everything is already an uphill battle? Did they think that any of this political folderol matters to the women who need the screenings?

Of course they're not thinking of those things. They're only thinking about themselves. How big is that CEO's cut, again? Yeah, fuck'em.
posted by cmyk at 9:43 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


With this decision, the Komen Foundation is objectively pro-cancer, which is a strange place for them to be.

Also, what Digby said.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:47 PM on January 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


I actually think the fallout might be that a lot of otherwise donors to the Komen Foundation will give their money directly to PP, and it will far exceed the amount the Foundation ever gave to PP.

I hope so, too. But I suspect that even if that's true at the private individual donor level, the Komen Foundation leaders have calculated the likely net outcome of this move to be very much in their favor. The Foundation has been enduring years of pro-life groups' boycott of their races, partner companies, etc. because of their affiliation with Planned Parenthood. Now they're the heroes not just to the pro-lifers, but anyone whose core belief actually has nothing to do with abortion or premarital sex or cancer, it's the need to defund government support for social services. And they are legion. When they say "small government," they don't mean small defense budgets, they mean no handouts to lazy people who deserve to suffer if they're obviously just not willing to work hard enough to succeed. And the government should similarly butt the hell out of anything that infringes upon the free market, like worrying about what they're doing to the environment. Or their workers.

And I don't think Komen's founder and CEO Nancy Brinker is necessarily allied with what are typically considered "pro-woman" forces in the first place. Not only was she a powerful Bushie but, for example, she gushingly accepted the 2007 "Woman of Valor" award from the Independent Women's Forum, which was founded to support Clarence Thomas against those pesky"allegations of sexual harassment," and is the source of initiatives like "Take Back the Date," created to "reclaim Valentine's Day from radical feminists on campus who use a day of love and romance to promote vulgar and promiscuous behavior through activities like The Vagina Monologues." Oh, and IWF shares premises and staff (a.k.a. is the same as) Americans for Prosperity. That's Koch Brothers money, which is seriously huge money, and if that's where your ideological leaning is anyway, that means blowing all the Tea Party's dogwhistles... your and my paltry little donations to a 5K fun run be damned.

The Komen Foundation has always been Nancy's baby, but she only became CEO in December 2009. I imagine she's just getting started.
posted by argonauta at 10:52 PM on January 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


You know, I'm really wondering exactly what this rule entails.

What I see in the links above is something of a paraphrase:Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said the cutoff results from the charity's newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. According to Komen, this applies to Planned Parenthood because it's the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla.

Does the policy apply to donors? Should SGK sever ties with Bank of America if BoA is under investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

Should SGK sever ties with MD Anderson Cancer Center if the local Health department is investigating them for "Sliiiiime in the Ice Machine"? It's an investigation by local authorities.

Not that I think this is a winning strategy, since it's clear that at least some people at SGK want to sever these ties, but is a member of the House even a federal authority? They are not an agency of the executive branch, and while they have the power to investigate, their power to act comes down to forwarding information to the executive branch for action or to making laws.

I don't think any of this could come to anything, but I'd sorta like to strip away the "our hands are tied, them's the rules" shrug that the SGK people seem to hope will be good enough.
posted by Mad_Carew at 11:02 PM on January 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm back because I said I would donate up there near the middle and wanted to let everyone know I followed through with my word. Hope others do as well. This is an ongoing fight and we can't EVER let our guard down.
posted by Oh OK HA HA at 11:54 PM on January 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


I looked Komen up on Charity Navigator. At first my reaction was "Hmm, 12% for administrative expenses isn't too bad". Then I noticed that it was $37.5 million, and another $24 million for fundraising expenses. What the hell are they spending that kinda coin on?

Please don't do this. I'm furious over Komen's actions in defunding PP, but leave their salary structure out of it, 12% is perfectly fine. It's a large, multifaceted nonprofit, and to run programs well you need competent staffing and leadership at all levels.

I've spent most of my career in nonprofit administration, and the race to the bottom of the Charity Navigator percentage for admin expenses does a disservice to the careers of a lot of hardworking people who more than earn their paychecks. Look, it's never the CEO who takes the pay cut. And underfunding administration gets you badly-run programs that aren't worth your donations.
posted by desuetude at 12:07 AM on February 1, 2012 [17 favorites]


re: earmarking funds for specific programs - this tends to lead to a lack of available funding for general operating support for a lot of organizations. It's great to want to show your support for a certain area of programming, but if you can, it's a much better idea to let them know they should use it in the area of current greatest needs.
posted by elizardbits at 5:41 AM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really, really don't understand conservatives: they don't want people (including women) to have access to birth control, nor do they want to educate and care for the resulting children born to poverty.

They want workers and they want them to be as plentiful, cheap, and desperate as possible.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:47 AM on February 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Sorry, Komen. It's been fun, and I've donated money to you in the past, but I guess I'll be sending my money somewhere else.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:06 AM on February 1, 2012


It's a shame that the Komen org has cornered the market so completely that some don't know how to support research without them.

It's not clear exactly how much the Komen foundation spends on breast cancer research. To be generous, it seems like roughly $60 million/yr. By contrast, last year, the National Cancer Institutes funded more than $600 million in cancer research.

This is really the problem: the largest, most well-funded, most heavily promoted breast cancer charity in America, if not the world, can barely equal 10% of US government funding to accomplish the same mission.

You can support research by sending money to lobbying and advocacy organizations to keep federal funding flowing for breast cancer. Honestly, your dollars will go a lot further by supporting organizations which have "multiplier effects" than by supporting charity-research directly.

Save your charity dollars for organizations that provide direct help and services to those in need (and in their defense, Komen does support some of these direct-help causes).
posted by deanc at 6:09 AM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm back because I said I would donate up there near the middle and wanted to let everyone know I followed through with my word. Hope others do as well. This is an ongoing fight and we can't EVER let our guard down.

I donated as well and am setting up regular monthly donations to go to PP. Because this is an organization that is taking hits constantly from the fundie right-wingers, and they need our ongoing support.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:16 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I gave $100 to PP using their form to give in someone's name. I gave in Susan Komen's name, and had the thank you card sent to

Susan G Komen
5005 LBJ Freeway
Dallas TX
75244

That's their corporate headquarters.

Here's the link to give in someone's name:
https://secure.ppaction.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=pp_ppol_Nondirected_HonoraryGiving

Felt good. Think I'll do it monthly for a while.

I always hated those pinkwashing corporate apologists. Now I know exactly why.
posted by spitbull at 6:18 AM on February 1, 2012 [33 favorites]


At the point where Susan G. Komen For the Cure has put other charities on notice: Don't use the phrase "for the cure." The foundation has launched a legal battle against groups that also use the slogan, like Bark for the Cure. And Kayaks for the Cure. it can be argued that they, as a group, are in it for the money and not 'the cure'.

The 'you don't need a doctor crowd' like to point out how after polio was 'cured' that ended the gravy train for the March of Dimes the idea stopped being 'cure' but 'management' to keep the money flowing. What is the incentive for Susan G. Komen For the Cure to actually obtain a cure?

(and rather than spend time getting angry as many of you have done upthread why not spend time figuring out and then informing others that Published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the exhaustive analysis found that medical radiation, particularly the large radiation dose delivered by CT scans, is the foremost identifiable cause of breast cancer. is right? Or perhaps if the people who claimed Laetrile worked were right, that That research also confirmed cancer as a metabolic malfunction, not a weird mutation of cells often explained away as a genetic issue. might be the 'correct' postion and that dichloroacetate (DCA) addresses that theory is right or even the eating of turmeric or various polypore mushrooms for their long chain sugars puts you in a state where its harder to cancer to form. Because the charity 'March of Dimes' didn't address Polio - boffins did. )
posted by rough ashlar at 6:47 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really, really don't understand conservatives: they don't want people (including women) to have access to birth control, nor do they want to educate and care for the resulting children born to poverty. Sex and families are not something that only the middle class and wealthy get access to, regardless of how much some of them would like to change that.

Whenever you're wondering why the conservatives are doing something, there is usually one simple question that will clear it up: "Does this produce cheap labor?"
posted by Legomancer at 6:48 AM on February 1, 2012 [6 favorites]




Spitbull, that's awesome. I just gave more money to PP in honor of SGK and had the card sent to their HQ. I hope they get swamped with cards.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:59 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I swear, sometimes I come into these threads just to make sure I'm not the only one who feels a certain way about an issue. I am rarely disappointed.

Whenever I get pink-ribbon-spammed and I know that my friends have received the same garbage, I usually send a link to ThinkBeforeYouPink or some similar site to those friends. I've gotten responses back that they were quite surprised at some of the info. I believe I have the Blue to thank for opening my own eyes.

A friend of mine is a survivor of, I believe, Stage 4 breast cancer. When she was undergoing chemo and everyone was swarming around her with pink ribbons, offers to wear bandannas in solidarity, and all that happy horseshit, she asked at least one of them, "Why don't you just buy me a cup of coffee instead?"
posted by Currer Belfry at 7:27 AM on February 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


thanks dirtdirt!

Get tweeting!
posted by Ironmouth at 7:27 AM on February 1, 2012


my breast cancer survivor friend was super pissed!
posted by Ironmouth at 7:28 AM on February 1, 2012


This is really the problem: the largest, most well-funded, most heavily promoted breast cancer charity in America, if not the world, can barely equal 10% of US government funding to accomplish the same mission.

No, this isn't the problem. You're not comparing apples to apples whatsoever here. Government grantmaking is structured in a very specific way. It can't do everything, it doesn't support every type of valid research, even within cancer.
posted by desuetude at 7:38 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


and rather than spend time getting angry as many of you have done upthread why not spend time

*rolls eyes*

Yeah, because it's impossible to get angry and also go do other things, simultaneously. Why assume that people expressing anger are not doing other things as well?

I'm furious, and I'll also be donating to PP, and writing letters/fb posts/etc. and talking it up with everyone I know. All while chewing gum at the same time, because I'm talented like that.
posted by rtha at 7:47 AM on February 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Government grantmaking is structured in a very specific way. It can't do everything, it doesn't support every type of valid research, even within cancer.

Can you elaborate? I'm genuinely curious what kind of niche-research that Komen foundation supports that is somehow different than what the NCI and NIH funds.

I still think that your money is better spent on "force multiplier" advocacy rather than directly funding research. $10,000 will buy a piece of lab equipment or 2 months of salary + benefits for a postdoc. Or it could be used to lobby for many millions more in public research funding.
posted by deanc at 7:51 AM on February 1, 2012


Barbara Ehrenrich's 2001 "Welcome to Cancerland" article in Harper's is still a good read.
It is the very blandness of breast cancer, at least in mainstream perceptions, that makes it an attractive object of corporate charity and a way for companies to brand themselves friends of the middle-aged female market. With breast cancer, "there was no concern that you might actually turn off your audience because of the life style or sexual connotations that AIDS has," Amy Langer, director of the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations, told the New York Times in 1996. "That gives corporations a certain freedom and a certain relief in supporting the cause." Or as Cindy Pearson, director of the National Women's Health Network, the organizational progeny of the Women's Health Movement, puts it more caustically: "Breast cancer provides a way of doing something for women, without being feminist."
posted by argonauta at 7:53 AM on February 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


I really, really don't understand conservatives: they don't want people (including women) to have access to birth control, nor do they want to educate and care for the resulting children born to poverty. Sex and families are not something that only the middle class and wealthy get access to, regardless of how much some of them would like to change that.

Rapacious capitalistic systems depend on a desperate underclass to feed on. Exacerbating the conditions of poverty and marginalizing more and more of that underclass allows for some easy in-group/out-group coding in order to trick half of that underclass to vote against their own interests in order to keep their slavemasters in power.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:27 AM on February 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh look, another THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS moment, brought to us by capture-the-flag conservatives.

This will prompt a lot of uncomfortable conversations in this country. We participate in a sporting event that is a fundraiser for Komen. We win the fundraising count every year. I don't want to do this again. That's going to upset a group of folks whom I really like. If the whole team folds, children who look forward to this won't get to have it.

This turns conversations with children from 'hey there's this really bad thing that happened to Grandma and you are helping to make it better!' into something else, or nothing, now. Ugh.

Anyone who wants to forego this type of thing will look like they consent to the Komen decision.
posted by drowsy at 9:19 AM on February 1, 2012




Thanks, MetaFilter, for your heart and fight. Speaking as someone who tends to concentrate a lot of my charitable support on anti-cancer organizations:

Just finished emailing my local SGK chapter with my promise not to provide another penny of support (and I WAS a supporter) until they oust the people who made this decision and restore PP funding.

Then I sent the contribution I would have made to SGK to PP.

We should not let this thing drop until SGK fixes it.
posted by bearwife at 10:24 AM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]




Amazing. Gonna spread this far and wide.
posted by agregoli at 11:19 AM on February 1, 2012


MeFi's Own John Scalzi is doing the right thing: donating all his ebook royalties (and his publisher Subterranean Press is donating their share too) for the next week to Planned Parenthood.

I need to fill in a couple of the holes in my Scalzi collection, and this is the perfect time to do it.

As for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, I NEVER trusted the way it did business, making breast cancer into a 'brand'. May it disappear as soon as possible, leaving a stronger, more vital Planned Parenthood to do far more good for more women than Komen EVER WANTED TO.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:56 AM on February 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


That's terrible, 'foop! To be offered the opportunity to support an author I like, one of mefi's own, even, while making a statement and contribution at the same time? HOW WILL I SURVIVE.

By buying more books, as usual.
posted by rtha at 12:07 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I actually have a few Scalzi books in my Nook wishlist. Now I know what I'm going to do on payday.
posted by drezdn at 12:08 PM on February 1, 2012


Wait, what? A Texas lawmaker does the right thing? Way to go, Representative Alvarado!
posted by Runes at 12:09 PM on February 1, 2012


Don't forget, you can donate to Planned Parenthood in the name of whoever you like.

Also, Think Before You Pink.
posted by latkes at 1:13 PM on February 1, 2012


Business schmisiness, the Komen Foundation is a thought leader in the charity space, has intertwined itself with some of the most visible conglomerates in the country and when they make apoint of doing something, others will follow. It's not the paltry $680k or the 34,000 breast exams, it's signaling that it's fair to be against women's health for the sake of some bizarre reproductive Jesus theory.

They legitimize crazy.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:24 PM on February 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Looks like at least some of the Komen state affiliate groups aren't happy with this decision, either.
posted by scody at 2:45 PM on February 1, 2012


The jezebel story --"How the Susan G Komen Foundation Lost Its Way" is actually real opinion journalism, remarkable and detailed, who knew GawkerMedia?

It's be Erin Gloria Ryan, a new name to me. But it's a fine piece of writing, and I learned a lot.

The best part comes near the end:
Ironically, Susan G. Komen for the Cure's withdrawal of support for Planned Parenthood may end up doing more damage to the charity's image than imaginable, and more for women's health than a million pink ribbons could. Reaction to the move was overwhelmingly negative— one analysis of web reaction to Komen's withdrawal of funding found that only 25% of people who wrote about the move wrote positively about Komen. And according to Elizabeth Clark, Senior Media Specialist for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in the last 24 hours, more than 6,000 individual donors have contributed over $400,000 to Planned Parenthood, with donations still rolling in. For some perspective, last year Komen gave Planned Parenthood a $580,000 grant. Of course, none of this makes Komen's withdrawal of support — or their lies about why they did so — any less despicable.
posted by spitbull at 2:56 PM on February 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why does it feel like so much of the corporate and political world (same thing these days) has soul cancer?

I'd walk to cure that.
posted by dutcherino at 3:00 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Perhaps instead I should donate to colon cancer research to help assholes like SGK?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:00 PM on February 1, 2012


The Accidental Rebranding of Komen for the Cure by Non-Profit Marketing Guide.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:19 PM on February 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Perhaps instead I should donate to colon cancer research to help assholes like SGK?

Ah, this is a variation on a joke colon cancer patients hear occasionally, too. (See, for example, the time Sean Penn said he hoped his critics all "died, screaming in pain, of rectal cancer," as that would be appropriate since they're all assholes.) It's not a big deal in the greater scheme of things, but I would ask you to consider in the future that it's not exactly an added bonus to have a form of cancer that seems to be the perfect punchline regarding bad people and karmic retribution.
posted by scody at 4:50 PM on February 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Nancy Brinker named Jane Abraham to the Komen Advocacy Alliance Board of Directors in 2009 (press release).

Jane is the General Chairman of the Susan B. Anthony List, the "not-for-profit membership organization and connected Political Action Committee that supports pro-life political candidates and issues" that is behind ExposePlannedParenthood.org. (via RH Reality Check)

Go figure.
posted by argonauta at 4:55 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, this was a good point that my partner posted on fb: there is probably a local breast cancer services/support group in your town or city or county, and they may get a big chunk of funding from SGK. Consider giving them a chunk of cash, because they will need it. They always do. In San Francisco, I gave to the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund.
posted by rtha at 5:19 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]




So this came up on my Facebook, and a friend posted about it (outraged). One of HER friends said, who cares, they KILL BABIES. When my friend responded, this is not about abortion, it's about breast cancer and PP helps women with that, the other lady responded by comparing supporting PP's screenings with supporting someone who was a philanthropist but ALSO a rapist.

Which was sort of brilliant in its viciousness and cluelessness, and also served to move the discussion away from breast cancer and back to Those Aborting Sluts.

*bangs head into wall*
posted by emjaybee at 7:01 PM on February 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


@argonauta: Is that the same Susan B. Anthony list that lobbied congress to investigate Planned Parenthood?

I'm starting to think that Hillary Clinton's "vast right-wing conspiracy" isn't so far fetched.
posted by Mad_Carew at 7:07 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't forget the suite number when sending PP cards to Komen corporate headquarters.

5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250
Dallas TX
75244
posted by eddydamascene at 7:12 PM on February 1, 2012


*bangs head into wall*

So someone I'm friends with on fb - not because we're besties, but she's an old friend of a friend, we've met, etc. - posted a "PP is a DEATH ORG" thing on her wall. I managed to not say anything for a whole three minutes, and then I said "I'm a little surprised that you would discount all the women whose lives have been saved by being able to get free or low-cost Pap smears and breast cancer screenings, and other preventive care. Why don't their lives count?"

I can't say I'm expecting an answer.

*joins emjaybee at the wall*
posted by rtha at 7:19 PM on February 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Mad_Carew, 'twas them indeed. They're also behind the Girl Scout Cookie boycott, for what it's worth. And they teamed up with the Family Research Council (=James Dobson's Focus on the Family) and the National Organization for Marriage (you may know them best from their Prop 8 work) for their "Value Voters Bus Tour" leading up to the Iowa caucus. They are VERY well funded, and very interconnected.
posted by argonauta at 7:23 PM on February 1, 2012


They're also behind the Girl Scout Cookie boycott

Oh good, another reason to double down on the Thin Mints this year.

Planned Parenthood gave me medical care when I was unemployed and uninsured, and the care I got at that time quite literally saved my fertility. I have pointed out to my bible-thumping fundie relatives that my two sons are on this Earth because of the care I received at PP, but it falls on deaf ears.

*joins rtha and emjaybee at the wall*
posted by ambrosia at 7:37 PM on February 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


PP is a DEATH ORG

Reminds me of the time I was doing clinic defense for PP back during the Operation Rescue heyday in the late '80s/early '90s. I was escorting patients into the clinic at one of the sites in northern NJ so that they didn't have to face the gauntlet of screaming sadists by themselves.

That day, one woman was going to PP that day for a pap smear -- you know, that procedure that allows women to check for cancer and for other health conditions that might affect her fertility and her life -- who had brought her young son with her. He must have been about 5. As we approached the clinic, one of the OR monsters jumped out and screamed at the child, "tell your mommy not to kill your brother or sister! She tried to kill you, too, but we stopped her!"

I had not, until then, appreciated the depths of pathological, quasi-fascistic moral poison at the heart of the anti-choice movement. These people do not care one infinitesimal fraction of a flying fuck about women and children. They care only about forcing women and their families to conform in all ways to their own rigid, repressive standards of behavior, and punishing anyone and everyone who has the temerity to do otherwise.
posted by scody at 7:39 PM on February 1, 2012 [30 favorites]


These people do not care one infinitesimal fraction of a flying fuck about women and children.

They would be *thrilled* to discover that, thanks to doing exactly that kind of clinic defense in those days, a friend of mine decided to be a nurse practitioner. She has spent her career working at HIV/AIDS clinics, free clinics, and prisons, giving compassionate, nonjudgmental care to populations that need it most. Her work is a giant fuck you to people like that.
posted by rtha at 7:47 PM on February 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Komen responds:
We are dismayed and extremely disappointed that actions we have taken to strengthen our granting process have been widely mischaracterized. It is necessary to set the record straight… Komen has… implemented more stringent eligibility standards to safeguard donor dollars. Consequently, some organizations are no longer eligible to receive Komen grants.

Some might argue that our standards are too exacting, but over the past three decades people have given us more than just their money. They have given us their trust and we take that responsibility very seriously.

We regret that these new policies have impacted some longstanding grantees, such as Planned Parenthood, but want to be absolutely clear that our grant-making decisions are not about politics…
posted by grouse at 8:33 PM on February 1, 2012


Oh fuck you, SGK.
posted by rtha at 8:39 PM on February 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Why am I still arguing on fb?

*bangs head on wall harder*
posted by rtha at 8:39 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some might argue that our standards are too exacting

Yes, and one of my worst faults that I am sure to mention in job interviews is that I am a perfectionist.
posted by scody at 8:48 PM on February 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Here's a list of Facebook walls of some Komen Milion Dollar Council sponsors where you can register your dissatisfaction. There are many more. I definitely left a note for Yoplait, they are the company I most associate with the toxic Komen brand.
posted by grouse at 8:57 PM on February 1, 2012


Energizer wrote me back:
Like many of you, yesterday we learned about the decision of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to discontinue its funding to Planned Parenthood. Energizer has made donations to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for several years designed to help further the research needed to find a cure for breast cancer. We are constantly evaluating the charitable organizations with whom we partner to ensure they are a good fit for our brand and consumers. We appreciate you taking the time to share your feelings about yesterday’s news.
posted by grouse at 9:45 PM on February 1, 2012


(Komen For The Cure tm said) Some might argue that our standards are too exacting

(scody said) Yes, and one of my worst faults that I am sure to mention in job interviews is that I am a perfectionist.


The thing is, when one mentions one's high standards in a job interview, others nod agreement (wearily or sagely depending on the interview), but if one says it to justify a break-up, one has richly earned a sock in the nose.

those who can never countenance violence may assume I meant sweaty footwear
posted by gingerest at 9:48 PM on February 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


In response to Komen's weak press release, I'm going to point back to the link I posted earlier regarding the accidental rebranding of Komen for the Cure.

Even assuming that Komen really didn't intend this as a political move, they have handled it so poorly that they've managed to turn themselves into "the right-wing breast cancer advocacy group" over night. Again, assuming that their internal policies were really the reason for this choice, had they been proactive in addressing the situation, they might have been able to avoid much of the PR damage they've received.

Bad decision, badly handled PR (which is mind-boggling for an organization of this size and scope) and now a badly damaged brand.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:32 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Top Susan G. Komen Official Resigned Over Planned Parenthood Cave-In
"...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."

Planned Parenthood supporters have rallied behind the group, contributing $650,000 in 24 hours
"Also keep an eye on Washington today. Capitol Hill sources told me last night that there will be some additional word from Democratic lawmakers outraged by Komen's decision."

Good, I'd love to see this get much, much more attention.
posted by like_neon at 7:51 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]




Komen Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker in new YouTube video: We Won’t ‘Bow Down’.
posted by ericb at 8:32 AM on February 2, 2012




Also from the Atlantic article:
"[T]hree 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."

...Hammarley explained that the Planned Parenthood issue had vexed Komen for some time. "About a year ago, a small group of people got together inside the organization to talk about what the options were, what would be the ramifications of staying the course, or of telling our affiliates they can't fund Planned Parenthood, or something in-between." He went on, "As we looked at the ramifications of ceasing all funding, we felt it would be worse from a practical standpoint, from a public relations standpoint, and from a mission standpoint. The mission standpoint is, 'How could we abandon our commitment to the screening work done by Planned Parenthood?'" But the Komen board made the decision despite the recommendation of the organization's professional staff to keep funding Planned Parenthood.

...He called the controversy over Planned Parenthood funding "a burr in the saddle of Komen, but it withstood the issue for years and years." Hammarley said the issue became newly urgent after Handel was brought on last year. "The internal debate on a senior level rose in the past eight months or so, coinciding with her hiring."
posted by argonauta at 8:46 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]




Komen Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker in new YouTube video : We Won’t ‘Bow Down’.

That's the worst Tom Petty cover I've ever seen.
posted by Mad_Carew at 9:15 AM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


There are many more. I definitely left a note for Yoplait, they are the company I most associate with the toxic Komen brand.

I would also say this--focus on "women's" brands. These brands have more to lose if women turn against Komen full-on.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:35 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brinker on MSNBC at 1 PM on Andrea Mitchell's show.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:46 AM on February 2, 2012


That is sure a sackload of cya bullshit right there Brinker.

she's just a little scary, her face doesn't seem to move right. Is that botox or something else? (honest to god not meant as an actual attack on Brinker, the policy change is enough to attack her on)
posted by edgeways at 10:00 AM on February 2, 2012




Komen Quietly Also Stops Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research Centers

warning to anyone on mobile devices - this link, while informative, goes to an extremely antichoice website.
posted by elizardbits at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2012


"The responses we are getting are very, very favorable." - Nancy Brinker
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:38 AM on February 2, 2012


Wow she has got weird hair.

Mitchell is just killing her.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:38 AM on February 2, 2012


That was embarrassing. She was utterly unable to produce a coherent, credible response to the storm of fury that is ripping the pink ribbon to shreds.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:41 AM on February 2, 2012


Someone (allegedly) hacked Komen's website.
posted by inigo2 at 10:41 AM on February 2, 2012


.....and, I just saw that ericb posted that. My bad.
posted by inigo2 at 10:43 AM on February 2, 2012


I seldom give to charity, and only then to causes that (in my opinion) do not seek to ameliorate an injustice that should be tackled by governmental intervention, where the costs can be more evenly applied via tax. In my opinion, just as the lottery is a voluntary tax on the greedy and stupid, (most) charity is a voluntary tax on the naive and foolish. Panhandlers are ignored, Salvation Army bell-ringers avoided; the only charity that earns my regular support is the Make a Wish Foundation... because while nobody can claim that terminally ill children deserve a trip to Disney World, it's kind of awesome to give them a chance to go.

Nevertheless, I was so pissed off by Komen for the Cure's decision, and their blatantly dishonest explanations for it, that yesterday I made a $50 donation to Planned Parenthood... and today I bought jscalzi's On Writing, with the profits going to Planned Parenthood. I also bought his Old Man's War, though my understanding is that having been published separately it wasn't included in the offer, because I didn't want to begin my experience of that universe with a peripheral work.
posted by The Confessor at 11:16 AM on February 2, 2012


Two dozen Senators call on Komen to reverse Planned Parenthood decision

"That’s a significant number of Senators for a letter of this nature, and it makes it more likely that this fight will escalate in a huge way, if Republican Senators begin speaking out in defense of the decision, as David Vitter has. "
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:27 AM on February 2, 2012


Perhaps the Senate should investigate the Komen foundation.
posted by grouse at 11:31 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


To think of all the money they spent on protecting their brand by siccing expensive lawyers on small time charities, and they blew it up themselves over less than $1 million in less than 24 hours.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:34 AM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Acknowledging that it would be one of the most petty uses of congressional time (in a virtual sea of waste and pettiness) but I'd like to see them call the Komen Foundation's bluff. If they really will pull money from any grantee under investigation, and the "investigation" of PP being instituted by the Republican House member counts, then let's see it if that's as bi-partisan as they claim. I'm sure there's some organization for White Rich Women Who Were Virgins When They Got Married and have Subsequently Only Had Procreative Sex Resulting in Live Births who they've given money to. THEY LOOK SHADY TO ME! Let's investigate!

I am having the WORST time at work right now and it was one of the total highlights of the last month to be able to send a big donation to Planned Parenthood in honor of "First Name: Fuck Those, Last Name: Komen Bitches".

My pettiness is probably a reason I'm not suitable for public office. But is there a wall I can stand on somewhere?
posted by marylynn at 11:36 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just coming back to mention that it seems to be a modern tea partyish move to:

1) Make a blatantly political decisions.

2) Wait for people to call you out for making that decision.

3) Accuse the people calling you out of "politicizing the situation."

Obviously, they wouldn't use this strategy if it didn't work, but it pisses me off.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:47 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Livestream for the brinker interview
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:05 PM on February 2 [+] [!]


Is this archived somewhere? I was in a meeting ...
posted by thinkpiece at 12:00 PM on February 2, 2012


Yup.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:09 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


What Planned Parenthood Actually Does (graph)

Take away - only 3% of what they do involves abortions.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:23 PM on February 2, 2012




Not a big fan of Bloomberg, but I must say that this is the kind of political posturing that I can 100% get behind. Retweeting this to my NYC friends.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:33 PM on February 2, 2012








I have new respect for Mike Bloomberg. And I was just running out.
posted by spitbull at 1:37 PM on February 2, 2012


Susan G. Komen Top Officials Resign As Backlash Gains Steam
"Dr. Kathy Plesser, a Manhattan radiologist on the medical advisory board of Susan G. Komen for the Cure's New York chapter, said she plans to resign from her position unless Komen reverses its decision to pull grant money from Planned Parenthood.

... With her decision, Plesser joins Komen's top public health official, Mollie Williams, and the executive director of Komen's Los Angeles County chapter, Deb Anthony, both of whom also resigned in protest."
posted by ericb at 1:40 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Grants to Penn State? Fucking unbelievable.

I try to be open-minded and accepting of other beliefs but anti- lifers just have no redeeming qualities.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:48 PM on February 2, 2012


Stop the Pink Ribbon: list of the top 30 sponsors ($1 million or more) to SGK, with contact info.
posted by scody at 1:49 PM on February 2, 2012


Anti-CHOICERS. Ffs.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:51 PM on February 2, 2012


Here is SGK's November 30, 2011 press release touting their refusal to support embryonic stem cell research. Warning -- this is a pdf document.

Who cares if it might actually help to find a cure for breast cancer, right? Ideology first!
posted by bearwife at 1:54 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/susan-g-komen-foundation-board-member-we-are-absolutely-frustrated-by-the-decision-to-defund-planned-parenthood/2011/08/25/gIQAgH8LiQ_blog.html

some of the regional organizations associated with Komen are taking heat, and - at least that one - is apparently fairly angry about this situation. We may see the organization splinter in the future.
posted by mephron at 1:54 PM on February 2, 2012


Brinker on MSNBC at 1 PM on Andrea Mitchell's show ... Mitchell is just killing her.

Andrea Mitchell Personal About Susan G. Komen's Defunding Of Planned Parenthood.
posted by ericb at 2:06 PM on February 2, 2012


"Komen’s decision prompted California State Senator Alex Padilla, a Democrat who has touted the group’s causes since 2010 as part of the 'Pink Tie Guy' program, to quit the post.

'Komen has placed its supporters in the untenable position of aligning themselves with acquiescence to the agenda of the religious right, or aligning themselves with health-care and breast-cancer organizations that will not bow to such pressures,' Padilla said in an e-mail. 'The choice is clear to me. I choose the latter.'"*
posted by ericb at 2:10 PM on February 2, 2012




I am....relieved that many, many people are waking up to the greed of the corporation called Komen. They beg for money from those who don't have it. They spend a mere 20% of their received funds on actual research. They withdraw funds from organizations that actually need the money. They fund-raise by labeling products with pink ribbons. Many of these products not only are not necessary for us to survive, but may in fact harm us, and yes, cause cancer.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:05 PM on February 2, 2012


Decemberists Withdraw Support of Susan G. Komen Foundation:
The Decemberists are deeply troubled by Komen for the Cure's recent decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, a vital resource in the battle against breast cancer. Providing cancer screenings to low income women is integral to the prevention and defeat of breast cancer and it is unconscionable that Komen should politicize this very important issue by bowing to the fear campaign being waged against PP by the right. We've decided to redirect the proceeds of the Team Jenny t-shirts and buttons [created for keyboardist Jenny Conlee, currently in remission for breast cancer] away from Komen for the Cure. 100% of the net profits of these items will be instead donated to Planned Parenthood's Breast Health Emergency Fund.
posted by scody at 3:58 PM on February 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


We're talking a little more than "might help find the cure", bearwife, check out cancer stem cells.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:17 PM on February 2, 2012




Of course, these are one-time gifts, and don't really replace $680,000 in recurring support.
posted by grouse at 5:28 PM on February 2, 2012


Alas, that is true. But most recurring gifts were at one point one-time gifts.
posted by Lutoslawski at 5:33 PM on February 2, 2012


We're talking a little more than "might help find the cure"

Your links would still support using the word "might," jeffburdges. But that's what SGK should be aimed at anyway -- promising research, i.e. all research, including stem cell research, that very well might help find the cure.

I'm a little staggered, actually, that the November 30, 2011 release didn't draw plenty of publicity. Really, a cancer research outfit that refuses to fund an important area of cancer research? Seems like the media would have taken notice.
posted by bearwife at 5:37 PM on February 2, 2012


The Seattle affiliate has responded with a letter to the national organization:
The Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Board of Directors and Staff express our extreme disappointment and frustration with the new grant policy adopted by Komen National. As we communicated with Komen National last month on behalf of our Board and Staff, we believe that this policy is overly broad and strips the authority from affiliates to determine how to best serve our local communities with the funds entrusted to us by our donors. We were further dismayed at Komen National’s failure to consider feedback from the affiliates before taking this action.

We believe this policy is misguided and respectfully reiterate our request that the policy be rescinded or revised to permit greater flexibility to the affiliates to evaluate grant applicants and, together with Komen National, determine whether an applicant should be ineligible for funding.
posted by grouse at 7:23 PM on February 2, 2012


Good lord. Komen's twitter feed is ridiculous pleading--so bad. This will be over 2 PM tomorrow. They're claiming PP will probably be eligible for next year's grants now.

So ham-fisted.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:24 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, now they are trying to say it's not really about the investigations, it's a strategic shift away from pass-thru grants. Which probably would have worked in the first place if it had been done with cuts to other pass-thru grants, but certainly no one is going to buy that now.
posted by smackfu at 7:34 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]




I have to admit, I started getting all processy in my reply tweets to Komen. Pointed out how their continuous insistence on "new story" was killing them and also asking who the hell drops this bomb on a Tuesday? This kind of crap is a Friday 4 PM special. Instead 4 fucking news cycles! So stupid!
posted by Ironmouth at 8:35 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gave $50 more today to the PP breast cancer screening fund, after Bloomberg's announcement that he would match up to a total of $250K. If I must donate for social services that by all rights should be funded equally through a general tax, It's at least gratifying to do so at a discount.
posted by The Confessor at 9:17 PM on February 2, 2012


I keep telling myself I've said enough here.

But I can't help but link to this article about the Walther P-22 Hope Edition handgun with a pink slide.

Yep, America's most popular handgun. With. A. Pink. Slide.

I can't decide if I want this to be a clever hoax or real.
posted by Mad_Carew at 10:46 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't express how THRILLING this has all been -- to watch it play out in real time, to see the wildfire of pure outrage tear through the internet! I have to say, this is what makes me feel like a patriot. This internet nation.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:17 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


*rolls eyes*
Yeah, because it's impossible to get angry and also go do other things, simultaneously.


Spending time becoming aware of cancer research tidbits and things one can do in ones own life like cutting back on sugar (sugar feeds the cancer cells it seems), looking at the fungi research and determining if you like mushrooms/which ones you like and can afford to add to your diet and then sharing things like Crucially, though, mitochondria do another job in cells: they activate apoptosis, the process by which abnormal cells self-destruct. When cells switch mitochondria off, they become "immortal", outliving other cells in the tumour and so becoming dominant. Once reawakened by DCA, mitochondria reactivate apoptosis and order the abnormal cells to die.

"The results are intriguing because they point to a critical role that mitochondria play: they impart a unique trait to cancer cells that can be exploited for cancer therapy," says Dario Altieri, director of the University of Massachusetts Cancer Center in Worcester.


Such will do far more good then complaining about a group who's sole purpose is to take in money to pay for fundraisers who take in more money to grow staff to take in more money to claim they are 'curing' cancer. (Hold on a second - feeding to grow more to then feed more....what biological model does THAT sound like?) If one can do both, great. But if your life goal is to 'defeat cancer' - why not invest time in reading what research has went on, figuring out what is doable by either budget or availability, and then sharing that with others. The path dubbed 'nutricuticals' - the idea of eating stuff that can cure you - has a few good ideas. Things like mushroom and turmeric are examples of 'generally accepted as safe' choices - and by some tasty and healthy eating.

At the end of the 'protest' - will you have changed Cancer awareness?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:25 AM on February 3, 2012


Such will do far more good then complaining about a group who's sole purpose is to take in money to pay for fundraisers who take in more money to grow staff to take in more money to claim they are 'curing' cancer.

And look at the time you've wasted bitching about what other people are bitching about! You could have been off doing Important Research instead!

Jesus fuck, dude, why do you assume that Because You People Are Doing A You Are Not Doing B (and therefore you suck). Quit it already.
posted by rtha at 6:27 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


But if your life goal is to 'defeat cancer'

That's a mighty big assumption on your part about the people in this thread. Not saying it's not a good goal, but why are you the one who gets to define the most important goal here? You think "cancer awareness" is a thing people need more than "stop using women's bodies and health as a political football, you fucks"? Why do you get to say so, and do you have evidence that cancer is a thing people are unaware of?
posted by rtha at 6:37 AM on February 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


The pink handgun for a cure thing can't be real, can it?
posted by R. Mutt at 7:22 AM on February 3, 2012


Sure. There's a similar sort of S&W M&P, with a pink version of the plastic handgrip piece (it's an easily-swappable piece, so it's just a case of running it cast in pink instead of black). Oh, and it looks like there's some custom engraving on the slide.

My m&p is not pink. The (caution, instructables selflink) cozy that I crocheted for it is, though. Because it was the most incongruous thing I could think of to do with yarn.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:45 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry - I meant as a partnership. I have no doubt that pink guns exist. (And yes, your cozy does kind of look like Florida.)
posted by R. Mutt at 7:54 AM on February 3, 2012


To be clear, the S&W pink M&P was a Komen partnership thing. pdf press release.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:58 AM on February 3, 2012




This handgun story appears to have been published today.

It's for shooting yourself in the foot.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:18 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]






Woohoo! That was fast.

A whole lot of politically apathetic people just tasted activist victory for the first time. It was too easy, almost, and there's so much to do. But I say this episode is a turning point for reversing the right wing war on women every bit as significant as Occupy Wall Street changed the conversation about the economy.

The struggle continues.
posted by spitbull at 8:36 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


whoops
every bit as significant as the way that OWS . . .
posted by spitbull at 8:37 AM on February 3, 2012


Ezra Klein | Washington Post: Is the Susan G. Komen Foundation backing down?
The Susan G. Komen Foundation has just released a new statement from CEO Nancy Brinker. The first line is a mea culpa: “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.”

But what does this mea culpa mean? Brinker goes on to make clear that they will amend their guidelines so only “criminal and conclusive” investigations affect their funding decisions. They will ensure that “politics has no place in our grant process,” and they 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.”

So they are, perhaps, backing down. Or perhaps not. Yesterday, the Komen Foundation said the investigation was not the cause of their reduced support for Planned Parenthood, and that the real issue was that Planned Parenthood did not directly provide mammograms. This statement doesn’t address that concern at all. So it would appear to leave open the possibility that the foundation intends to reject Planned Parenthood’s future grant applications — albeit on less overtly political grounds.

I posed these questions to Leslie Aun, vice president for communications at the Komen Foundation. “I think our statement speaks for itself,” she replied. You can be the judge of that.
posted by ericb at 8:39 AM on February 3, 2012


welp.. they managed to raise close to a million for PP directly, pissed off a lot of people, likely will have a smaller donor base now, probably have infuriated the rabid righters with this latest reversal, all so they end up right back where they where a few days ago wrt funding issues.

In any actually well functioning organization I think there would be a few "resignations" from the team that implemented this PR disaster.
posted by edgeways at 8:43 AM on February 3, 2012


I think they end up a lot worse off than when they started.

Goody gumdrops.
posted by spitbull at 8:50 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Susan G. Komen Apologizes: Hoisted By Its Own Pink Ribbon?
"The most powerful breast cancer advocacy organization in the country forgot about one of its special interest groups: breast cancer survivors and their families.

...Now that Komen has alienated its own core supporters, it has a much bigger problem on its hands than a small grant for mammograms given to a women’s health organization. (It’s also worth noting that the amount of patient services  Planned Parenthood devotes to cancer screening and prevention outstrips abortion five to one.) Komen has done a lot of great work, but despite the apology, its future is still in jeopardy, all because they ignored their most important constituents. I don’t know how many people there are who have been affected by breast cancer  — though I bet Komen does — but take that group and add in pro-choice supporters and you’ve no doubt got a much larger contingent than the ardent pro-lifers whose anger Komen had originally feared. Their biggest mistake, it seems, was one of math. Yes, Komen needs a new director of PR, and possibly even a new CEO, but they also need a new demographer in their research department."
posted by ericb at 9:00 AM on February 3, 2012


I wonder if the handgun story pushed them over the edge.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:07 AM on February 3, 2012


The Atlantic: Susan G. Komen Reverses Course, Will Allow Planned Parenthood Funding

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. 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...

posted by flex at 9:14 AM on February 3, 2012


I guess it takes 3 days to backpedal 60 miles as well.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:16 AM on February 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think they end up a lot worse off than when they started.

Whereas, I think Planned Parenthood had a good week of stories that reminded the general public that their everyday mission encompasses a lot more than abortions and that they help all kinds of women and families.
posted by gladly at 9:20 AM on February 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Oddly, the Komen Facebook page for the last few days was awash in pro choicers furious that Komen caved to the right, with only a few pro lifers fighting the tide to praise the PP decision. Today the page is swamped by prolifers furious that Komen caved to the left and swearing they will never donate again. Can't say I feel terribly sorry for Brinker et al.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:21 AM on February 3, 2012


I bet there were some fucking FURIOUS conference calls over the past 24 hours with a lot of major corporate sponsors (Yoplait/General Mills, Energizer, 3M, Hallmark, et al.) who were mighty angry that they'd been dragged into this mess (almost certainly with no warning) and were now being threatened with boycotts themselves.

I also wonder if we're going to see the "resignation" of chief Palinista, Karen Handel, sometime soon (or soon-ish). Maybe they'll banish her to Alaska where she can watch Putin rearin' his head over the horizon, too.
posted by scody at 9:24 AM on February 3, 2012


A total victory for Planned Parenthood to be sure. Not only have they doubled whatever Komen would have given them this year, and reminded people of how much of the good they do has nothing to do with abortions, but also have given an object lesson to any other organizations that might consider fucking with them in order to pander to people against reproductive rights.

I'm still done supporting Komen, though. The first reason is that I don't trust the way they have resolved this incident. There's no reason to think that Komen won't just drop Planned Parenthood next year with a better PR strategy. So far, they have kept their virulently anti-Planned Parenthood senior vice president for public policy, failed far-right-wing politician Karen Handel. Even if she resigns, Komen will probably still be run by a Bush administration official. Their public relations message has appeared dishonest and disingenuous, so they've lost my trust.

But mainly, this fracas has brought into relief how much more Komen is about corporate branding than actually fighting cancer. They've defunded embryonic stem cell research, they spend millions siccing lawyers on charities that use the phrase "for the cure" or the color pink, and they lend their brand and support to dubious pinkwashing marketing campaigns for things that tend to cause cancer. Most of all, their rebranding of themselves by putting "for the cure" in the very name of their organization seems very cynical in light of the fact that they only spend 19% of their revenue on anything that might actually end up resulting in a cure.

Please instead support the American Cancer Society (you can designate your donation to specifically fund breast cancer research if you choose) for research efforts, and the Planned Parenthood Breast Health Emergency Fund for prevention and screening. They seem much more worthy recipients.
posted by grouse at 9:34 AM on February 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


I think Planned Parenthood had a good week of stories that reminded the general public that their everyday mission encompasses a lot more than abortions and that they help all kinds of women and families.

I'd like to think also that this incident may give pause to those Members of the House of Representatives who voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Nothing much happened because it died in the Senate as everyone expected, but it feels like Komen thought it was kicking a puppy and learned too late it had roused an angry bear.

Hope the DCCC is paying attention on this issue.
posted by ambrosia at 9:36 AM on February 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I spent about two hours writing this long explanation of why I considered it obvious that the Komen foundation's policy change was specifically targeted and politically motivated... only to discover when I finished that they had (apparently) reversed course.

I'm linking to it here because I believe may still serve a valuable purpose: while I applaud the reversal, I still think Komen should be pressured to better account for the claimed apolitical nature of their decision to defund Planned Parenthood, particularly given the competing narratives found in sourced articles on legitimate news sites.

I am going to leave a comment/message to that effect on the Facebook status pages of the Komen foundation and their sponsors.
posted by The Confessor at 9:48 AM on February 3, 2012


Gotta make sure they follow through.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:54 AM on February 3, 2012


As it turns out the ACS puts much of its program service money into Patient Support, Prevention, and Detection and Treatment. Which are all good things, and much more worthy in my mind than endless breast cancer "awareness" education. I'd love suggestions for more pure-play research charities, though.
posted by grouse at 10:01 AM on February 3, 2012


I have to say that, if nothing else, this has been helpful to have an opportunity to point out all the issues with the Komen foundation in a mainstream media way (hard to argue with, lots of visibility), without looking like a Grinch (as I have sort of felt up until now when quietly refusing to "buy the pink *whatever* for Breast Cancer Awareness Month" or not donating to friends/family participating in Race For The Cure).
posted by flex at 10:19 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmmm...maybe the celebration is premature:

Komen caved. Or did it?
posted by zombieflanders at 10:50 AM on February 3, 2012


How Planned Parenthood won Susan G Komen's "race for the cure":
For the past year, anti-choice activists have set their sights on Planned Parenthood, determined to wipe out the behemoth provider of low-cost reproductive healthcare. The strategy? A massive propaganda effort aimed at painting Planned Parenthood as a dirty, criminal organization, instead of the efficient provider of quality care that it is. This strategy involved making false accusations of abetting sex traffickers, opening nuisance congressional investigations and throwing the word "abortion" around a lot to justify attempts to eliminate federal funding for contraceptive service.

As part of this strategy, anti-choicers mounted a pressure campaign on Komen, trying to get them to cut ties with Planned Parenthood in order to create the impression that Planned Parenthood has cooties. Anti-choicers had every reason to believe a shaming campaign would work. After all, this fight is fundamentally about female sexuality, a traditional site of much shame and secrecy.

But as Planned Parenthood demonstrated, shaming campaigns have a major weakness as a tactic: they don't work if the target refuses to be shamed.

[...]

The past week has erased months – years, really – of work on the right to build a cloud of suspicion around Planned Parenthood. Now, a new narrative is forming: if you attack Planned Parenthood, be prepared to meet massive resistance, as well as a ton of negative press. And it's not just because so many people have affection for Planned Parenthood, though considering how many women the organization has served, that does play a role. It's because the public increasingly understands that attacks on Planned Parenthood are a proxy for a larger war on sexual healthcare. The anti-choice strategy of flinging the word "abortion" around in order to attack contraceptive services – or, in this case, access to affordable mammograms – is losing its impact.
posted by scody at 11:07 AM on February 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


As the article zombieflanders links to points out, all Komen is now saying is that PP can apply for funding. This, of course, is a far-cry from their previous financial arrangement. I suspect Komen will simply deny any PP applications.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:35 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The past week has erased months – years, really – of work on the right to build a cloud of suspicion around Planned Parenthood.

I really want this to be true, but I don't have that much optimism in me.
posted by rtha at 11:39 AM on February 3, 2012




Donatero to los parentjood de plañnedo! Viva los boobos!


-@ElBloombito
posted by Skygazer at 11:45 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ahh, the ol' faux cave, eh zombieflanders, clever. Too bad (a) everybody hated them for stealing the spotlight from cancer charities that did better work by supporting stem cell research, and (b) we've seen soo many faux cave ins recently with SOPA.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:15 PM on February 3, 2012


I'm still done supporting Komen, though.

Me too, I think. First, I am not convinced they will not simply deny PP's grant applications moving forward -- though they are fools if they don't realize how fast all of us PP supporters will learn about that and react to it. But in addition, I am really troubled about their policy of refusing to support embryonic stem cell research. I watched the whole Andrea Mitchell/Nancy Brinker interview and was struck by Brinker's repeated claim that this decision was all about improving the quality of grants and research funding. Obviously that is untrue if ideology is denying research funds to one of the most important research areas.

It would take a guarantee of ongoing PP support and an ousting of everyone who voted for this decision to bring me back to supporting Komen, I think. And I don't think either of those things will happen.
posted by bearwife at 12:26 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


> I don't know, zombieflanders.

Excerpts from today's (Cecile Richards) Planned Parenthood email:

Today, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation announced that it will continue to make grant funds for breast health and education available to Planned Parenthood health centers.

.......

Over the last three days, Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Breast Health Fund has received more than $3 million from thousands of people across the country. Every dollar we received for this fund will go directly to breast exams and diagnostic services, as well as breast health outreach and education so that more women can receive this critical care.

posted by heyho at 1:23 PM on February 3, 2012






Ari Fleischer, the expert at lying your way out of trouble.

Brinker herself has been revealed as such a nasty piece of work, I think that alone has pulled away the curtain for many people. Most of us here were already on board, understood both pinkwashing and the republican war on women, but my hope is that this episode has activated a lot more people who were apathetic or uninformed. In the end, Komen sure did raise awareness after all.
posted by spitbull at 2:18 PM on February 3, 2012


Between Ari Fleischer's involvement and Karen Handel being a Palin operative -- both obviously in line with Brinker's long-standing connection to the GOP -- I have started to wonder if the Komen Foundation consciously waited till after Elizabeth Edwards died to make this move. After all, Edwards was both a very vocal supporter of Planned Parenthood, and the country's most visible breast cancer patient, and the Komen Foundation has never passed up an opportunity to trot out their association with her.
posted by scody at 2:22 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, with all these high-level spin doctors at their beck and call, you'd think they'd have handled this whole fiasco better, or managed to avoid it in the first place. They also vastly misunderestimated (a perfect word for this, really) Planned Parenthood in particular and women's health advocates in general. Even if I agreed with them, I'd have to think long and hard about continuing to donate to an organization with such highly placed incompetency.
posted by rtha at 2:34 PM on February 3, 2012






What the heck were they thinking??

This has got to be just the tip of the iceberg here, I just can't imagine this level of ruinous stupidity being a natural development from an organization like Komen and it's got to go deeper than this Handel woman or Ari Fleisher. Ari Fleisher is a serious soldier and operative for the Right-wing who has in the past been the public face for initiatives from the Right that go MUCH DEEPER, and are strategic in nature and I gotta wonder if Karl Rove had something to do with this or one of the Tea Party front groups Like America Works or Club for GRowth (KOCH group) or even ALEC (another KOCH group).

This is going to make one heck of a book at some point. And also, it is so pleasing that this massive cock-up and over-reach is causing a serious backlash against the GOtP.

Was this supposed to be the opening salvo against PP to starve it funds before a fresh campaign against Roe vs. Wade by the Robert's court? Was the executive board of Komen threatened in some way?

Questions, questions, but I could swear this has got the fingerprints of some incompetent Right-wing Ratfucker type all over it...
posted by Skygazer at 10:06 AM on February 4, 2012




"Pro-Life only counts pre-birth, apparently".

Pro-choice only counts post-birth, apparently.
posted by republican at 12:02 PM on February 4, 2012


Pro-choice only counts post-birth, apparently.

that doesn't even make sense - the choice is obviously pre-birth. no one is suggesting euthanizing 2 year olds.
posted by nadawi at 12:11 PM on February 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Spoken like someone who doesn't have a two-year-old.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:14 PM on February 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


haha we made that joke in our living room directly after i posted that comment.
posted by nadawi at 12:30 PM on February 4, 2012 [2 favorites]




that doesn't even make sense - the choice is obviously pre-birth. no one is suggesting euthanizing 2 year olds.
Well, I shouldn't have to explain it to you but...if you are still in the womb you might like a choice also.
posted by republican at 4:20 PM on February 4, 2012


if you are still in the womb you might like a choice also.

What do you remember about being in the womb, and what choices did you make while you were there? Please be specific regarding your fetus-based memories and choices.
posted by scody at 4:44 PM on February 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


well, i was born of a woman who was told to get an abortion for her health and safety and i feel like she made the wrong decision and she should have aborted me. but, her choice was the only one to go on because i wasn't even a person yet, and it was ultimately her life on the line. it's a weird position of the anti-choice crowd that everyone would choose to be born if somehow we got over the hurdle of fetuses not having any concept of choice and could share their opinion on the matter.

but, really, all of this argument is for not because we're discussing funding for breast cancer screening. only one side makes that about abortions and it's not the pro-choice side.
posted by nadawi at 4:51 PM on February 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


if you are still in the womb you might like a choice also.

I wish my son had made better in utero choices, that's for damn sure. See exhibit a: GET YR ASS OUT OF MY LIVER. Exhibit b: You can't wiggle away from your hiccups, they're *your* hiccups. Exhibit c: Turning your head sideways is not an optimal exit strategy.

Fetuses seriously need to up their game.
posted by sonika at 5:07 PM on February 4, 2012 [14 favorites]


Aren't their fairly strong arguments that humans pop out not fully functional because like walking upright drops em' out too soon or something? I've always gathered that "abortion" was actually "moral" up until some few months after birth, but hey I eat jamón serrano very happily, if you crazy vegetarians wanna set the abortion deadline a couple months before birth that decision rests on your heads. ;)
posted by jeffburdges at 5:24 PM on February 4, 2012


For those that can't speak for themselves, I believe we have to assume they would choose life. I think the hangup with a lot of anti-birthers is that they see it as a "religious" thing and therefore must be opposed to any pro-life position. I am not an atheist. But if I were I imagine that I would have the exact same views on abortion.
posted by republican at 5:26 PM on February 4, 2012


wouldn't anti-birthers be people who believe obama was born in this country? i'm one of those too, so i don't mind the label, just curious.
posted by nadawi at 5:39 PM on February 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I believe we have to assume they would choose life.

Why does the choice of the fetus count more than the choice of the woman carrying it?
posted by rtha at 6:03 PM on February 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


For those that can't speak for themselves, I believe we have to assume they would choose life.

Again, you are positing fetal consciousness and the ability to make decisions. And again, I ask you to state specifically what consciousness you had as a fetus, and what decisions you would have liked to have been able to make. Unless you can do so, I can only assume that you are using this notion of fetal decision-making purely as a rhetorical device, and not because you actually believe there's any meaningful truth to it.
posted by scody at 6:04 PM on February 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


You can assume whatever you want. But if I were in a coma and expected to recover I don't think I would want you as my next of kin.

Also, I don't understand why the abortion mafia has to shake down charities and taxpayers for their funding. There are plenty of limousine liberals that could fully fund PP. Michael Bloomberg just stepped up to the plate. Good for him...but why has he waited until now to make his sizable donation?
posted by republican at 7:20 PM on February 4, 2012


Federal funding can't be used for abortions except to save the life or health of the woman.
posted by rtha at 7:34 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're dodging the question, republican. Your argument hinges on the assertion that zygotes and fetuses are equipped with consciousness and the ability to make choices (or at least to have preferences that humans are required to interpret and carry out). The fact that you have declined to state what consciousness or preferences you yourself enjoyed as a zygote or fetus, despite repeated requests, strongly suggest that you are not making your argument in good faith.

All you have to do to illustrate that I'm wrong and you're right is to state one single memory of your time in the womb that would bolster your argument that zygotes and fetuses must be assumed to have a conscious preference to be allowed to gestate fully.

I don't understand why the abortion mafia has to shake down charities and taxpayers for their funding. There are plenty of limousine liberals that could fully fund PP. Michael Bloomberg just stepped up to the plate.

You don't realize how unserious you are inadvertantly revealing your argument to be, do you? I suppose you think Barry Goldwater was a limousine liberal, too? You have recited your talking points well, grasshopper; the problem is that they don't actually make sense in the reality-based community.
posted by scody at 7:44 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Scroll up and take a gander at the coma analogy. That is my standard. You have a different standard. I am not comfortable with your standard.

And if Goldwater(RIP) or whoever supports PP then YES...get out that checkbook and credit card. Charities and taxpayers should not have to be complicit in supporting the largest abortion provider. Funds that are supposedly "not used for abortions" will be used to free up other money to be spent on abortions.
posted by republican at 8:05 PM on February 4, 2012


[Folks, maybe dial back the "Let's interrogate the person we don't agree with" so the thread doesn't become all about them? MeMail is always an option.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:15 PM on February 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think that right after the egg and sperm collide, it's not a fully developed human. I think that right before it's born, the fetus is pretty much a fully developed human. And the shift from one state to another happens over the course of the pregnancy, with some notable milestones such as "sufficient lung development to be viable in the outside world." While I think it's much more complicated and nuanced situation once that viability point is reached (which is usually 20-22 weeks), I think that if a pile of cells can't live outside of the body then it's clearly not a separate person and doesn't get to make decisions any more than a tumor does. (Once you get into viability territory, then the coma analogy begins to be a parallel situation. Before that, I don't see how it does.)

Also, "abortion mafia"? As far as I know, the only group involved in abortion that's been convicted of behaving like an organized crime group and successfully prosecuted under RICO is Operation Rescue.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:32 PM on February 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Michael Bloomberg just stepped up to the plate. Good for him...but why has he waited until now to make his sizable donation?

I suspect that this isn't his first donation to Planned Parenthood. Charitable donations to cancer research, prevention and treatment have been focuses of his philanthropy in the past.
"To date, he has donated more than $1.6 billion to a wide variety of causes and organizations. In 2010, Mike contributed more than $279 million to 970 charities. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked him No. 2 on its list of the 50 most generous people in America.

Public health has been a major focus of Mike's charitable efforts." *
posted by ericb at 9:12 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh. I love how anti-choicers believe that clusters of cells who, if we're being honest, have NO consciousness, have opinions that somehow matter more than the opinions of already living, breathing human beings. That's where their whole argument falls down, if they cared about life, they would care about people who are ALIVE and understand that in any true moral sense, these people's choices should take precedence. But show them a picture of a cute little nine month old baby and liken a medical procedure to MURDERING THIS CUTE LITTLE ALREADY BORN BABY and their brains shut down. Why can't we carry it further and outlaw masturbation by men? Because all those sperm being washed down the drain? Millions of potential lives!!!!!!! Being murdered!!!! [Inset picture of cute nine month old baby here].

Of course it helps if we bring the morality of the women into it, as the far right loves to do. Pregnant with a baby you didn't plan and don't want? You are a SLUT and a WHORE and nothing you say matters (doesn't apply to anti-choice women who have themselves had an abortion, because they're different).
posted by triggerfinger at 12:44 PM on February 5, 2012


I don't think anyone here is going to budge the other side. I happen to fall down on the small-clump-of-cells-is-not-a-person and would rather we make the lives of those already living better and more fulfilled. As the pregnancy progresses there perhaps should be higher bars to cross, but lets not kid ourselves, those first few days and weeks? That is not a human being. Potentially? Yeah perhaps, but it is not the same thing by a long shot A sketch is potentially a masterpiece, but the destruction of a sketch is hardly worthy of comment.

PP does a lot of good by anyone's metric, but for some the 3% is a do or die issue. A matter of faith no matter the argument.
posted by edgeways at 4:10 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]




"She said, 'If we just say it's about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.'"

You heard it here first: Karen Handel is not very good at predicting what people will blame her for.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:57 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]




Reading the HuffPo post that ericb linked, it would be laughable if it weren't supremely irritating (but it is not, I suppose, surprising) that the backlash against Komen is being spun as big meanie Planned Parenthood viciously attacking poor Komen, who has no idea how to handle all this political trouble, oh my, can't we be left to get on with what's important here, you know, the breast cancer thing and all? Those Planned Parenthood bullies, they're so organized!
posted by flex at 12:22 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


My thoughts too, flex.
posted by gaspode at 1:25 PM on February 6, 2012


Thirding flex: But as a result of her efforts, Komen has been left reeling and its reputation as a top charity endangered.

"We're under attack. We're getting threats of violence," the source said. "It's devastating."


I remember all of the women's health clinics that have been firebombed over the years, the physicians who have been murdered, had their families stalked, and so forth, and I can't help thinking that one of these things is not like the other.
posted by ambrosia at 1:30 PM on February 6, 2012 [11 favorites]




From her resignation letter:
Komen’s decision to change its granting strategy and exit the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood and its grants was fully vetted by every appropriate level within the organization.
That's kind of the issue for a lot of formerly-pro-Komen people, now.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:47 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I heard this on the radio as I was driving to work and went FUCK YEAH! I think I startled the driver of the car next to me at the stoplight.
posted by rtha at 8:07 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is why one of my preconditions for supporting Komen for the Cure is the release of any emails, memos, and board meeting minutes related to the genesis, ratification, and implementation of the "investigation" criteria.
posted by The Confessor at 8:16 AM on February 7, 2012


This is why one of my preconditions for supporting Komen for the Cure is the release of any emails, memos, and board meeting minutes related to the genesis, ratification, and implementation of the "investigation" criteria.

My preconditions for supporting them again involve pigs flying, hell freezing over, and Newt Gingrich being elected President of the United States.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:38 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well now Ms. Handel is making the rounds on Fox news playing the conservative victim card. I assumed she was gunning for a role on Fox as some sort of expert on women's health, but this article suggests the whole affair will boost her political capital. Here in Georgia that is probably true. So just like Gorge Bush she leaves chaos and destruction in her wake as her political star ascends.
posted by TedW at 3:21 AM on February 8, 2012


Karen Handel: "I viciously attacked PP with a knife, and they got all huffy! And then their friend threatened from afar to punch me in the nose! WTF is with these violent hooligans!!!!!"
posted by desuetude at 9:45 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Karen Handel: "I viciously attacked PP with a knife, and they got all huffy! And then their friend threatened from afar to punch me in the nose! WTF is with these violent hooligans!!!!!"

Except it's more "I attacked them, and nobody wanted to play with me anymore! I'm the victim!"
posted by inigo2 at 7:03 AM on February 9, 2012


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