Komen, We’re Not Done with You Yet

komenThe crowds went wild – and not in a good way – at the news that Susan G. Komen for the Cure was de-funding Planned Parenthood based on a newly-created “guideline” that it wouldn’t fund an organization that was under federal investigation.  The crowds got more than a little rowdy when it came to light that the “investigation” in question was one cooked up by right-wingnut, anti-choicer Republican Representative Cliff Stearns.

The crowds trashed the stadium when it was learned that a Komen higher-up, Karen Handel, had run for governor in Georgia on a campaign of anti-choice and anti-Planned Parenthood.  Pink ribbons were hung in effigy.  Celebrities tweeted their dismay.  NY Mayor Bloomberg pledged a quarter mil of his own money as a contribution to Planned Parenthood, as did a Texas couple.  Planned Parenthood’s coffers overflowed with public support – as well they should have.

nancy brinker

Nancy Brinker

Komen reacted as many recent corporations who face the risk of losing oodles of money do when called on the carpet for wrongdoing – it caved.  Perhaps it feared an “Occupy Komen” in its future.  For whatever reason, Komen offered a limp apology to the public, changed its “investigation” criteria “to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair,” and announced the reinstatement of Planned Parenthood funding eligibility.

All is well with the world.  Well, no, it actually isn’t.

Karen Handel is still installed as Senior Vice President of Public Policy (I hope that’s nothing like “PR” – epic fail there) – and many of us believe she is the evil mastermind of the new Komen “guideline,” as well as the Stearns investigation, both of which were solely intended to de-fund Planned Parenthood.  This is a woman who ran a failed campaign for Georgia governor on an anti-choice platform, announcing, “since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.”  This is a woman who re-tweeted a Tweet in the midst of the firestorm which took a swipe at Planned Parenthood and sneered, “cry me a freaking river.”   (Though she tried to delete the tweet, she has now learned what a useful tool a screen grab is.)

julie driscollAnd Nancy Brinker, pal of George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of Komen – she had to have been up to her neck in the scheming going on behind the scenes to de-fund Planned Parenthood.  Her interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell was an epic fail; her explanations were webs of confusion; and her answers to pointed questions just didn’t emerge.   As Butter Believer reported, with graphs and charts and statistics, Komen isn’t exactly a charity’s charity, is top-heavy with administrative overhead, and doesn’t exactly live up to its mission of curing cancer.

Not only that, but Komen has withdrawn financial support for stem cell research.  And not only that, but Komen never even said it would fund Planned Parenthood again – it said Planned Parenthood would now be eligible since that pesky little right-wing-run witch-hunt is no longer a deal breaker.  Eligibility . . . well, that sounds like a lot less of a guarantee than I’m comfortable with – how about you?

Overall, it seems that Komen snuck Karen Handel in through the back door, all hush hush (either that, or progressives had so assumed the Komen brand to be one of integrity that we never questioned its inner workings), let her work her evil, and are now standing by her amidst a gathering cry for her ouster.  Thing is, they should oust Handel – but Komen probably realizes that, Handel or not, it’s lost its credibility in the marketplace of public opinion.  If it doesn’t pack Handel’s bags in speedy fashion, it may as well publicly ally itself with the anti-choice faction – but that’s not a good place to be for an organization that claims to fight for womens’ health.

julie driscollOf course, Komen is between a rock and a hard place:  Fund Planned Parenthood and the anti-choice zealots breathe fire; de-fund it and progressives who’ve firmly supported its cause withdraw support and trash it on Facebook and Twitter and blogs.

What I want to see is Komen brought to its knees financially, Karen Handel fired, Nancy Brinker demoted by the Board to something less than a clerk – and I want to see progressives reject Komen anyway, and spend their time, energy, money and public support on bolstering Planned Parenthood.

Poetic justice, yes . . . and justice delayed is justice denied.

Julie Driscoll
Politics Anonymous 


Sign the Petition — Resign and REfocus the Susan G. Komen Foundation – Click Here


  1. dusty says

    I have helped raise a lot of funds for Breast Cancer research/care and so forth. From now on I will do it exclusively through the Revlon run/walk for women because what the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation did with this travesty. That they would let right wing politicos determine a policy to withdraw help for PP is pure bullwhiskers. My mother used help from Planned Parenthood way back in the 40s when it took courage for a woman to go in the door to look for help in staying healthy and not pregnant. It has also provided help for my sister, several women friends, and students that I worked with at the college level who needed some place to go to get family planning help.

    Women’s health and medical care is not a wedge issue, though the right has made it into one, but a matter of health and life for millions of Americans.

  2. Cynthia says

    Here’s a petition that demands that Karen Handel be fired, the organization return to science-based support for screening and a cure for breast cancer, and ignore anti-abortionists who made them withdraw funds from stem cell research, and fund that research again.

    Sign away!


    Unless they do those three things, they won’t even begin to have credibility with their former supporters.

  3. Kathy T says

    Don’t forget all the grocery items: the yogurt, bread, canned vegetables, candy & gum… countless items with that pink label. For every one of those sold, a portion of the profit goes to SGK. Leave them sitting on the shelves!

  4. Texasvietvet says

    I don’t believe we are done with Komen. When it comes time to dispense funds again, I’m willing Komen will not donate any money to Planned Parenthood. Unless someone decides to investigate and keep monitoring Komen, I don’t see them giving any money to PP. So, keep the pressure on Komen. Also, if you had donated to Komen in the past or preparing to do it in the future, donate to Planned Parenthood. Now, we know the money is put to good use for women without political bu$hit.

  5. Bill Lorch says

    In the words of WILLIE N “Just a Little Ole Fashioned Karma Coming Down” I would never sent anything to this bunch I give Direct to planned parent hood . I wanna tell Karen H to place her pink teddy right where the sun don’t shine.. Could they get Arlie F to help with that chore ,as he seams to like to trash women anyway,OH Well Just another repub.cock roach………Keeping it lit>>>> Bill Just a tad West of Chi town.

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