Komen Off The Rails

First it was “Lawsuits for the Cure,” as Stephen Colbert so aptly called it. Then it was the perfume debacle. But Komen finally went too far by denying funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings. Apparently they went too far even for some of their own staff. I just read an excellent article in The Atlantic that says Komen’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, quit in protest when the funding was cut off. I’m glad to see that someone is still guided by a moral compass. You may be shocked when you read how they engineered the end of funding. It’s back-room politics at its worst.

I’m like many others in the blogosphere–although I was beginning to have serious doubts, the one thing that kept me hanging on was Komen’s support of low-income women. No more. They’ve done away with any pretense of caring about anything except their brand, and now, their politics. They will sue the smallest event, shill carcinogenic products, and create a rule specifically designed around reproductive politics, hurting the very people they once purported to help. Because make no mistake, women with money don’t go to Planned Parenthood. Women of means will always have a choice. It’s the poor who have their choices taken away. Komen’s actions are as despicable as they are arrogant.

It’s time to hit Komen where it hurts–in their wallet. They’ve proven time and again they worship the Almighty Dollar. (They were honest enough to remove “for the Cure” from their tagline. If they were completely honest, they’d change their pink ribbon to green.) I’m never giving another dime to Komen. I’m far from a big contributor. I’m good for about a hundred bucks a year, supporting friends in the Race for The Cure in Omaha and Kansas City. But multiply me by a million people and you’re starting to talk real money.

Donate to Planned Parenthood so they can continue offering screenings to low-income women. Donate to Metavivor (which goes to metastatic breast cancer research). Donate to (and join) the Army of Women. Donate to your local church that provides rides to chemotherapy patients. These organizations remember why they exist, and actually help people. Money talks; it’s time for us to start shouting.

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25 thoughts on “Komen Off The Rails

  1. I stopped supporting Komen years ago when it became blatently apparent to me that more money was going into publicity than actually finding a cure. This current action truly is unconscionable.

    • Thanks, Brenda! I’ll have to look for that article–yes, count on Jody for a wonderful comment.

      I will always remember that you tried to engage them in dialogue on your blog, and they spewed out a bunch of defensive garbage–just like they’re doing now. I think their karma is finally catching up with them.

    • Thanks, AnneMarie. Agree-I don’t plan on wasting any more energy on this. They’re done. And I think the size of the media storm proves it. Moral issues aside (and I do believe they will stand in judgment for turning away from the poor), this is going to go down in public relations history as “How to destroy your organization’s reputation in one fell swoop.”

  2. It’s very exciting to see the great passion on the web and in the media about women’s health. Whether or not you agree with Komen, this is a great opportunity for those that support services for low income women that Planned Parenthood serves to support with their pocketbook. It’s very easy for people to be critical – frankly, they need to support with their dollars not just their tweets. $600K that Komen donated annually is not a great sum of money for some of our more successful Americans. I would imagine that Scarlett Johansen and the Kardashian girls spend that much easily on handbags alone in a year.

    • Thanks, Diane. Great point, and I totally agree that we need to put our money where our tweets are. Did you hear about Mayor Bloomberg donating $250 million to Planned Parenthood? I made a donation that’s about a zillion times more modest but like I said, if you multiply me by a million. . . .

  3. Very well put. I was of a similar mindset as you about Komen before this and I find myself in total agreement with you after. I suppose I should thank them for crystallizing my opinion of them for me! 😉

  4. Jackie,
    Great post! I think Komen has really blundered this time. People are taking notice and not letting them get away with this one.

  5. I have read so much about this debacle, but Jackie your post has put it across the clearest and most succinct for me. “They’ve done away with any pretense of caring about anything except their brand, and now, their politics.” “make no mistake, women with money don’t go to Planned Parenthood. Women of means will always have a choice. It’s the poor who have their choices taken away.” Yep that pretty much lays it on the line for me!

  6. Pingback: Weekly Round-Up « Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  7. Jackie,

    You hit it spot-on with this outstanding post! You are so right about Komen. I used to donate to them years ago, but have stopped. This organization is nothing but a money-collecting machine who now won’t support the uninsured and underinsured who receive support from Planned Parenthood. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end for Komen.

  8. Amen, Jackie. When it comes right down to it, I have always preferred to put money and help directly into an individual woman’s hands, in fact. Or at least to donate it to local, small groups that I know — and can verify! — are doing direct, concrete, tangible good. To the worthy larger groups you’ve named, I’d add Breast Cancer Action, too.

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