By BJ Bjornson
The fun never stops with this one. Yesterday, the internet erupted over the news that the Susan G Komen for the Cure foundation was cutting funding to Planned Parenthood in a blatant cave-in to right-wing ideologues. Today brings news that the new rules Komen brought in to cut off the Planned Parenthood funding were done specifically to give them an excuse to cut that funding.
Komen, the marketing juggernaut that brought the world the ubiquitous pink ribbon campaign, says it cut-off Planned Parenthood because of a newly adopted foundation rule prohibiting it from funding any group that is under formal investigation by a government body. (Planned Parenthood is being investigated by Rep. Cliff Stearns, an anti-abortion Florida Republican, who says he is trying to learn if the group spent public money to provide abortions.)
But 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. (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." (The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood did not pay for abortion or contraception services, only cancer detection, according to all parties involved.)
The answer to this is much the same as it was yesterday, move your cancer donations elsewhere and, per PZ Myers, let Komen suck up the cash of Puritans to where it can at least still be put to some good use.
So don�t give to them anymore. Redirect your charitable giving to organizations that don�t have a Puritanical streak, and are a bit less Republican in outlook. There is no shortage; I recommend the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Breast Cancer Charities of America, CancerCare, and the Cancer Research Institute. So far, they all seem to be dedicated to fighting cancer and helping people, and a lot less concerned about policing people�s morality to conform to that of the Religious Right.
But I don�t want Susan G. Komen to go away. I think it is an excellent charity for right-wingers and Christian fundamentalists to donate to � their money will go to a cause we can all support, and it�s better than filling the coffers of the Mormon or Catholic churches.
And yes, I�m leaving in the links to the other charities as a lazy way to point you all to where you can divert your charitable giving, if you don�t want to just send it directly to Planned Parenthood itself.
And if you need further incentive to cut off the pink ribbon folks, it may delight you to know that the people who helped push Komen away from saving poor women�s lives with breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood clinics are now pushing them to stop supporting stem cell research. Though I�m not sure if this is a matter of giving into bullies who then just ask for more, since by all accounts, it was more a matter of electing the bullies to run the organization.
This little documentary probably won�t help matters for Komen much either.