For years, I’ve been drinking the Komen kool-aid and saw the Komen foundation through rose colored glasses. It seemed that Komen could do no wrong. After all, they had brought such attention to bear on breast cancer. They were fighting the good fight for women’s health. I was so impressed with the Komen foundation that I even wrote a post about them here.
I first became a little disillusioned with the Komen foundation when I found out they were suing individuals and smaller charitable foundations that dared to use the phrase “for the cure” or the pink ribbon. But, I swigged back a little more of the Komen kool-aid and reasoned they were just trying to protect their brand, their pristine image. Yesterday, that pink haze, those rosy glasses, were permanently removed. Yesterday, I heard the news of the Komen foundation pulling funding from Planned Parenthood.
The Komen foundation is trying to justify pulling $680,000 in Planned Parenthood funding, funding designated for breast cancer prevention, by saying they are tightening their criteria for funding and organizations under investigation by the government are not eligible for funds. Planned Parenthood maintains the funding was cut because of the unrelenting pressure anti-abortion groups were putting on the Komen foundation to cut ties with Planned Parenthood. The Planned Parenthood point of view seems to be supported by the fact that one of the very anti-abortion groups pressuring the Komen foundation broke the news of the funding cut at least a day BEFORE the official announcement was made.
It saddens me that the Komen foundation vow to remain above politics seems to have crumpled under pressure. It saddens me that the Komen foundation, an organization that purports to be all about women’s health seems to have let the neighborhood bully convince them not to support breast exams given by Planned Parenthood. And, it truly saddens me that the anti-abortion foes ignore that only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services are abortion…that most of Planned Parenthood’s services focus on maintaining sexual and reproductive health through gyn exams and breast exams and these services are desperately needed by lower income women.
I’m no longer drinking the Komen kool-aid. I will no longer be willing to pay a little extra to just to get the pink version of a product. My money and my support will be going to the organizations like Planned Parenthood from now on.