Saturday, February 4, 2012

Jobsanger: Komen - It's A Matter Of Trust Now

The Democratic Blog News joins with Jobsanger blog in expressing our disappointment in the Komen Foundation. While we are happy the Komen Foundation eventually made the right the decision to continue its funding grant to Planned Parenthood, our trust in Komen's leadership has been shaken.

From Jobsanger blog:

Yesterday I joined many other bloggers, individuals, and organizations in condemning the Komen Foundation for their putting right-wing ideology over the early detection of breast cancer among poor women -- a mean-spirited move that could have cost the lives of some women. They did this by cutting off funds for the breast cancer screening program of Planned Parenthood.

Fortunately many individuals stepped up to the plate and donated over $650,000 to Planned Parenthood to save the early screening program (even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg put his politics aside and donated $250,000). But these donations from other Americans don't mitigate the action of the Komen Foundation. Their move to put politics over saving lives was despicable.

Read the full story @ Jobsanger blog...

Addicting Info: Media Gets It Wrong, Komen Didn’t Actually Reverse Decision About Planned Parenthood:

The Komen Foundation got a huge assist today and it didn’t even have to pay some sleazy PR firm a yacht of cash to do it. Earlier today, the Dallas News reported that the Komen Foundation had issued an apology for its decision to stop funding cancer screen and prevention at Planned Parenthood, a decision that has inflamed many. It turns out that the apology was nothing more than a shameless attempt to take control of all the damage wrought to Komen, but the traditional media didn’t even bother to see the bait that it was blindly slurping up and ran with it anyway. Worse yet, they reported it as a reversal of the Komen Foundation’s decision.

Reality Check:

The Susan G. Komen Foundation issued a formal apology for their recent decision to discontinue more than $600,000 in annual funding for cancer screenings and prevention services at Planned Parenthood. After an unrelenting outcry from the general public and grassroots activists across the country, the Komen Foundation found itself facing a nearly unprecedented public relations nightmare.

In its press release, the Komen Foundation has promised that only “criminal” investigations will disqualify potential grantees, not political ones. The original criteria (written in late 2011, possibly for the exclusive purpose of ending Planned Parenthood funding) disqualified Planned Parenthood from receiving Komen Foundation funds since it is the target of a political “investigation” [read: “witchhunt”] led by Rep. Cliff Stearns. (What that means for Komen’s $7.5 million grant to Penn State remains to be seen, given the criminal and legal issues for which they are under investigation.)

The Komen Foundation’s statement says that it “will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.” And that’s where we hit the real problem. From the beginning, the Foundation has been clear that no current grants will be affected. As such, this is NOT a reversal of any kind.

Planned Parenthood will remain “eligible” for future grants, but the Komen Foundation has made no commitment to continue funding or to preserve its relationship with Planned Parenthood in years to come.

After all, when Komen Foundation founder and president Nancy Brinkler appeared on MSNBC earlier this week she said the decision to discontinue funding had nothing to do with the Congressional investigation. Instead, she argued that the Foundation was refocusing its efforts away from breast cancer prevention education and towards "metrics" and "direct service" grants. Over the past five years, Komen Foundation funding has enabled Planned Parenthood to provide more than 170,000 breast cancer screenings, and they have provided 6,400 mammogram referrals – that this doesn't qualify as "direct service" would surely come as a surprise to the thousands of low-income and young women whose lives have been saved by these services.

So the question remains: Which of the Komen Foundation’s many reasons to sever ties to Planned Parenthood was really behind this decision? Was it a Congressional witch hunt? Or was it new grant making priorities?

Or, as we’ve known all along, is this really about abortion? Komen’s blatantly political decision this week followed years of pressure from anti-abortion activists, asking women – primarily low-income and uninsured women, women of color, and young women – to pay for the Komen Foundation’s cowardice with their lives. (In fact, this decision was made over the objections of the scientific staff at the Komen Foundation; their top public health official, Mollie Williams, immediately resigned in protest.)

In fact, the Komen Foundation has also announced that it will stop funding any and all breast cancer research related to stem cells, it is abundantly clear that the Foundation’s decision-making has become infused with politics, placing far-right ideology over science and saving women’s lives. Today’s apology and accompanying PR spin hasn’t changed that at all.

Read the full Reality Check story...

No comments:

Post a Comment