Certainly, you have heard by now about the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s choice to distance themselves from Planned Parenthood and the backlash that it has caused. In short, the Susan G Komen Foundation announced that it is halting grants to Planned Parenthood and it’s affiliates on account of a new rule blocking funding to any organization under federal investigation. A statement which elicited a “what the fuck?” reaction in anyone with a brain.
Why? Well, to say that shit is shady would be unfair to shade.
Planned Parenthood’s announcement of the news, which I received via email, made no bones about the linking the influence of anti-choice groups on Susan G Komen Foundation’s sudden change of heart.
It’s a deeply disappointing decision — made even more alarming because politically motivated groups and individuals determined to undermine women’s access to care appear to have successfully intimidated the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to withdraw this critical support.
Over the past five years, Komen funds have enabled Planned Parenthood health centers to provide nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and referrals for more than 6,400 mammograms. These cancer detection and prevention programs saved the lives of women who often had nowhere else to turn for care.
But when anti-choice groups began criticizing the Komen Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood, the foundation ended its support for Planned Parenthood health centers. We know our opponents put their ideology over women’s health and lives. What we never expected is that an ally like the Komen Foundation would choose to listen to them.
It made my brain explode.
The one-two punch of a “non-political” organization caving to political bullying combined with a health-based charity actively denying health care challenges all of my logical faculties. I just don’t even. What the fuck.
The Komen Foundation insists they didn’t do anything wrong and don’t want to harm their relationship with Planned Parenthood. Their action wasn’t a judgment, they were just following the rules you see, their hands were tied.
Ah yes the rules. Allow me to get a little bit conspiracy theorist on you for a moment. The rule they are citing is a recent decision to not give grants to any organization that is under investigation by local, state or federal authorities and as Planned Parenthood has been the target of GOP sour grapes budget investigation since September, they are no longer eligible for funding. Now the really interesting part is this- the new rule coincides nicely with both this investigation and the appointment of Karen Handel as Senior Vice President of Public Policy for Susan G Komen. Who is Karen Handel? A failed politician and an avowed opponent of Planned Parenthood, of course! All of a sudden these factors aligned and lo the moon was in the seventh house and the word from on high was “fuck those poor bitches, we want to sell pink bibles.”
Oh coincidence, you tricky minx.
It’s all circumstantial of course, just another GOP victory built on fucking over women. Let’s all watch as the “family values” dickbags start falling all over each other to promote their important role in this “welcome, long-overdue decision”
I think that a bit of perspective about what this all means is necessary. I have heard people trying to defend Komen’s decision by saying that they must be certain that it will result in more donations to do more good and that’s more important that the work that they are doing with one organization. I think that’s naively optimistic. Realistically, the amount of money that Planned Parenthood was receiving in grants annually was around $600,000 which is a large sum to be sure but when you stop to think that the Komen Foundation spends close to a million dollars a year suing other charities for using the phrase “for the cure” in their fundraising<sound of record scratch> Wait, what? Yep. Those donations that your friends and family collect to “cure breast cancer” also double as a way to keep a behemoth charity corporation chugging along. Cancer is big money and Komen has branding magic.
The ubiquitous pink ribbon has changed the way we think about disease awareness and not necessarily in a good way. Yes, over the years Komen has done good work in making breast cancer a discussion but they have also made charity a unique kind of lazy consumer commodity. Rather than getting out and donating time and money directly to a cause, Komen and their corporate sponsors tell consumers, it’s ok just buy this pink version of whatever and you’ve helped find the cure! Look for the pink ribbon and we’ll give a penny to the six figure salaries of the Komen board! Post a cute Facebook status about your bra and help fight breast cancer!
It’s just fucking stupid.
Pink hats and t-shirts and “save the boobies” and the fucking infantilizing of women is not what breast cancer looks like. Breast cancer looks like the Scar Project. It is devastating and buying pink cap Yoplait is not going to do a fucking thing about it.
What can you do? Here are a few options-
2. Sign one of the many petitions floating around.
3. Send an email to the Komen Foundation expressing your discontent. I’ve included mine in case you’d like to use it also. It’s my gift to you.
Dear decision makers at the Susan G. Komen Foundation,
In regard to your choice to no longer provide grant money to Planned Parenthood, I would like to state the following-
Fuck your ribbons.
Fuck your merchandising.
Fuck your cowardly bowing to bullies.
Fuck your choice to make politics more important than women’s lives.
With the deepest disgust,