Susan G. Komen: From Cancer Cure to Anti-Abortion - special guest appearance by James O'keefe Author: RaineDate:02/02/2012 04:14:20
I'm sure by now, you aware that the The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation -- officially known as Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, has decided to pull its grant money for Planned Parenthood. This money was given to the organization to help defray the costs of breast cancer screening for women with little or no money. As reported Tuesday afternoon by the AP, via WaPo this was the reasoning:
Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said the cutoff results from the charity’s newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. According to Komen, this applies to Planned Parenthood because it’s the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., seeking to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions.
The money the Susan G. Koman foundation gave to Planned Parenthood was to help fund breast cancer screening for women with little to no access to health insurance. It was a partnership that began in 2005. The following is an interview of Representative Stearns with Pat Robertson. They are discussing the issue of money possibly being improperly spent by Planned Parenthood.
Please note that the date is October 2011. Listen carefully. Listen for the mention of Lila Rose. (More after the fold.)
You may remember a young fellow named James O'Keefe. We know him for taking down ACORN, for getting Shirley Sherrod fired and for his shenanigans down in Mary Landrieu's offices. What some may have forgotten was his ties to a Planned parenthood gimmick. Remember it? Here was the story:
An anti-abortion rights activist today released an edited undercover video she says exposes Planned Parenthood for "aiding and abetting the sex trafficking of underage girls" and "covering up sex abuse."
The latest release follows similar undercover video releases from young conservative activists, most notably the James O'Keefe-led ACORN videos. And like those videos, which were later revealed to have been selectively edited, this one has immediately generated controversy.
The young woman behind the Planned Parenthood video is O'Keefe associate Lila Rose, whose group Live Action last month sent fake pimps and prostitutes ostensibly involved in an underage sex trafficking ring into Planned Parenthood offices with hidden cameras. Here's how she describes her latest video, which you can watch below:
That article is from February 2011. The same congressperson who brought forth this inquiry - Cliff Stearns, R-Fl - mentioned Lila Rose in his interview. It happens to be the very same person that the Susan G .Koman foundation is using as a reason to defund the grants they promised to Planned Parenthood. As posted above, the SGK foundation decided to pull their funds after creating a new rule for the foundation. It was also after Planned Parenthood was placed under investigation by the aforementioned congressman.
My head has been reeling from this story for the past fews days, to be honest. I am dismayed that Planned Parenthood will need to seek alternative funding to provide women a much needed health service (so far, happily it appears they will make up for it -- but we need to make sure this continues long after today, this week and this year). This comes on the heels of Congress trying desperately to defund Planned Parenthood altogether; its ultimate goal: to make it disappear forever. This move, this 'newly adopted criteria' barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities, appears to be a perfect loophole for the Susan G. Komen foundation to allow that to happen.
Let's take a look at the Susan G. Komen foundation's vice-president (all thanks to AmericaBlog for doing the research):
April 12, 2011 – Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, announced today that it has appointed Karen Handel to serve as senior vice president of public policy. ...
Handel is a well-known and experienced policy maker, having held various positions in government at the local, state and federal level. Most recently, she was the Secretary of State for the state of Georgia, where she had oversight of 400 employees, responsible for overseeing elections, corporations, securities and professional licensing boards.
Handel Campaigned for Governor in 2010 on Anti-Choice and Anti-Planned Parenthood Platform. In a statement on her campaign website, Handel wrote, “I am staunchly and unequivocally pro-life. I believe in the sanctity and inherent dignity of human life, and I will be a pro-life governor who will work tirelessly to promote a culture of life in Georgia…. I believe that each and every unborn child has inherent dignity, that every abortion is a tragedy, and that government has a role, along with the faith community, in encouraging women to choose life in even the most difficult of circumstances…. since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.”
Go check the AmericaBlog link again-- the research there about Karen Handel is spot-on. I remember Handel -- when I lived in Georgia she was my Secretary of State. I am well aware of her and as such, I will verify what John Avarosis stated in his blog post. She has made it central to her very being that Planned Parenthood go away forever. Yet, an organization that has pledged to find a cure for breast cancer hired her.
The Komen foundation has been on the radar of people for quite some time. They have a (rather unsavory) history of suing breast cancer causes. People have felt that they were usurping the idea of solving breast cancer (think pink and ribbons) in order to market themsleves. There is even a documentary coming out about just that this Friday: Pink Ribbons Inc in select theaters. The Winnepeg Free Press has a really great write up on the film. What I am writing about today doesn't have to much do with that. Let's save the issue of pink for another day. It's still worth keeping in mind, though, as I progress with this post.
Let me restate this again: As noted above, the SGK foundation decided to pull their funds after creating a new rule for the foundation. It was after Planned Parenthood was placed under investigation by the aforementioned congressman. Keep in mind that the money from SGK was for beast cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood was attacked by a James O'keefe supporter. Lila Rose allowed herself to be an excuse (or more properly termed, a willful participant) by a Congressman who started an inquiry as a result of a faked video. Karen Handel is a serious proponent of getting rid of Planned Parenthood. These are all really important dots to keep in mind, because they are all connected, and I am going to propose something that many people may not like.
I say STOP asking the Susan G. Koman foundation to change their practices. They are a charitable foundation who has the right to choose to donate their money to causes they see fit. They are not Congress, who has a specific responsibility to the American populace. In other words: Stop asking an abuser to change its ways. Ladies and gentlemen, we have been abused by this organization. We have been taken advantage of and manipulated by them. Never has Planned Parenthood done that to us. Never. I suggest the following:
Donate directly to Planned Parenthood. You can still walk for the cure, but I strongly suggest walking for a cause the doesn't leave women behind. I prefer inclusivity when it comes to the causes of women's health. Rid yourself of Susan G. Komen and find another breast cancer walk. (The following is NOT an endorsement, just a suggestion) Avon Walk is a good start. No, they don't donate to Planned Parenthood -- but they also have not shown a proclivity to be political when it comes to the health of women. The money they raise stays mostly local. Here in the Greater DC area, they do a lot of good work for people who are under-served with regards to health care. They donate money to organizations that are looking to cure breast cancer. They help victims of domestic violence -- added bonus.
At the very least -- they are not trying to divide the crucial issue of women's health into politically convenient blocks. My breasts, my ovaries and my uterus -- along with my estrogen and everything else that makes me a woman are all connected. The SGK foundation decided on Tuesady that they are not all connected -- at least not according to them. They are not pro-women. They are anti-abortion.
Susan G. Komen began as a wonderful organization, a promise from a sister to another to help find a cure for breast cancer.
Susan Goodman, later Susan Goodman Komen, was born in 1943 in Peoria, Illinois. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. She died of the disease at age 36 in 1980. Komen's younger sister, Republican Ambassador Nancy Goodman Brinker, who believed that Susan's outcome might have been better if patients knew more about cancer and its treatment, promised her sister that she would do everything she could to end breast cancer. To fulfill that promise, Brinker founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in Komen's memory in 1982.
In 2007, the 25th anniversary of the organization, the name was changed to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and trademarked a new logo in support of its promise "to end breast cancer forever." The new logo is a pink ribbon that resembles a runner in motion and is meant to reflect the importance of Komen's signature Race for the Cure event, which is currently the world's largest fund raising event for breast cancer education and research. The logo symbolically associates the organization with the values of the pink ribbon culture: fear of breast cancer, hope, and the charitable goodness of people and businesses who publicly support the breast cancer movement.
In December 2009 Brinker was appointed CEO of the organization. The Komen CEO salary in 2010 was $459,406 a year.
Here we are, 30 years later. From the WaPo link above:
Stephanie Kight, a vice president with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, said her affiliate in Southern California received a Komen grant for 2011 and was able to obtain an additional grant of $120,000 for 2012 by signing the deal with its local Komen counterpart just before Komen’s new criteria took effect. Under the criteria, no further grants will be allowed unless the pending House inquiry is resolved in Planned Parenthood’s favor.
Kight said her conversations with local Komen leaders indicated there was a shared sense of frustration over the national Komen decision.
Not very charitable and good if you ask me. The SGK foundation did not have to do this. No one forced their hand -- Congress has no say over the money they make and spend-- they did this all on their own. I cannot make this clear enough. They are a charitable foundation. As thus, they can spend the money you give them as they see fit.
You see, I was willing to turn a slightly blind eye when it came to Susan G Komen foundation's somewhat questionable acts of suing people and smaller groups. I'm sorry I turned that somewhat blind eye. I honestly hoped that this was a strange blip on the radar because they were allegedly trying to help women find a cure for Breast Cancer. Well, for myself: No more. They caved -- they stopped being a place where women could hope for a cure. Instead the became anti abortion activists. They took money away to serve a political ideology. They made it partisan.
And to be very honest -- they don't need women walking for them because it is clear to me that women who walk are nothing more than their marketing scheme. Women in pink walking for them is nothing more than an advertisement for a foundation that has become highly polarizing and willing to serve those that would take away reproductive rights of women. The SGK foundation is withholding money from poor women in need of cancer screening. They did it knowing that most women in this nation never looked at SGK as a political group. Women who walked just wanted to help those with cancer and to help prevent cancer. This foundation made a marked change on Tuesday January 31, 2012. They became an anti-abortion group. In doing so -- they laid the fate, the lives and possibly the deaths of women all across America out of their hands. The women I know don't do that to their sisters. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, did -- they let cancer become political.
Asking the Komen foundation to change their practices at this point is like asking an abuser to please be nice. Women do not need them. We can fund Planned Parenthood and support organizations that are willing to help women without a political agenda.
Let's be clear on this: Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, changed the charity from a breast cancer cure advocacy charity to anti-abortion group.They WANT it like that. There is no other way to explain the hiring of Karen Handel. They pulled their funding from Planned Parenthood in spite of the fact that 3% of Planned Parenthood funds go towards abortion while the other 97% percent go towards reproductive health services. None of the grant money from the SGK foundation went towards anything besides breast cancer screening. None of it went towards abortions. They fell for the lies of James O'keefe, anti-abortion activists and elected officials that want to see planned Parenthood go away and in doing so, they left women out in the cold. Reality? They are a charity. This is their choice.
It is our choice to help Planned Parenthood. It is our choice to not fund Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
After all, they made it clear -- they don't need women to support them. If they did -- they wouldn't have done this. They are more than happy to rely on corporate sponsorship such as Kentucky Fried Chicken to promote their *cause* -- Kentucky Fired Chicken. Think about that for one greasy, heart-clogging minute.
Donate your money directly to Planned Parenthood -- find another Breast Cancer Cure foundation. There are plenty out there, believe me. Find a place to donate that actually helps to prevent breast cancer and cure it without a political ideology stepping in between you and your reproductive health.
Don't ask the SGK foundation to change their ways in order to regain your support. It's akin to trying to teach an abusive boyfriend the lesson that 'you were the best thing he ever had' in order to get him back.