As Brinker Tries to Explain Komen's Split From Planned Parenthood, an Inside Account

Categories: News, Politics

As you know by now, locally based Susan G. Komen for the Cure has cut off its funding to Planned Parenthood, meaning it'll no longer help pay for mammograms for women who can't afford them; why, there's Nancy Brinker herself above, attempting to explain Komen's "new granting strategies" concerning its breast-health grants. (Which no one's buying.) The loss is somewhere around $600,000 annually, thanks in large part to a Florida congressman's investigation into Planned Parenthood. Komen says it has a rule about funding groups under investigation. But till now the question's been: What rule, and since when?

The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg picks up the story this morning, using several named and unnamed sources to recount how and when this happened and the resulting fall-out when Komen put a Sarah Palin pal in charge of public policy:
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.) I've tried to reach Handel for comment, and will update this post if I speak with her.

The decision, made in December, caused an uproar inside Komen. Three sources told me that the organization's top public health official, Mollie Williams, resigned in protest immediately following the Komen board's decision to cut off Planned Parenthood.
Read the whole thing here.
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107 comments
Joe L
Joe L

It looks like Ms Brinker has completely capitulated and is unlikely to try to pull any thing like this off again.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

I have a problem,how can you be pro life and stop funding breast exam to save life. How can a Church care more about egg then living beings.Something really wrong with that process.

Immortal Fish
Immortal Fish

Aww.  People are going to have to pay for their own treatment now?  Aww.

Realtime
Realtime

Wait until people learn that the Ambassador pulls down more than $400,000 a year for her work.

PP gets my SGK $$$
PP gets my SGK $$$

She has changed her story again on Andrea Mitchell's show - now she sys it is because they are a "pass through" facility and that they don't "TREAT" CANCER... I am sure you can find it on MSNBC.com. Somebody should "investigate" SGK - then they will be in violation of their own "rule"... 

Amy_corless
Amy_corless

Never another penny to Susan G. Komen EVER! What a coward. 

PhilanderingMoustache
PhilanderingMoustache

The Democrats have strongarmed government funding for PP.  Wonder how they'll get a private organization to continue funding?

BadGuyZero
BadGuyZero

Wait until Komen launches it's "No Free Mammogram Unless You Love Jesus" campaign.

catbird
catbird

Only the fringe left thinks that Komen has done anything wrong...their blood lust will never be quenched.

Joe L
Joe L

Brinker's performance is revolting.  What a con artist, droning on about "trust" while just having transparently put on display that she can't be trusted with the transparent lie that her actions weren't due to her right wing politics.  And she's calling others "scurrilous"?

Brinker and Komen need to be investigated, not Planned Parenthood.

Hopefully decent people will withdraw support from these politicos masquerading as good Samariatans and channel donations elsewhere.

What a sad disappointment.  Far too much is being politicized in this country.

MissTigraTX
MissTigraTX

Link to a sensible article (from my POV) on this hoopla:

http://www.commentarymagazine....

PP does not provide mammograms.  Plain & simple.  I have looked at their grant paperwork from a local perspective as well as their annual review (which is anything but thorough and credible).  If people were REALLY concerned about women receiving low-cost or no-cost mammograms then they would support UT Southwestern, Methodist  and Parkland plus rally Baylor to start providing mammograms again.

 

Phelps
Phelps

Wow, I'm noticing that all the comments against Komen all seem to be using the same dozen or so buzzwords and making the same points.  

Smells like... astroturf.

Augie
Augie

The slope into politics is slippery and steep.  Now that Komen has gone from a charity to an arm of the religious right, they will lose many supporters and many millions of dollars.  In states less radically right than Texas, lots of the monied folks who generously support this once great organization, will now send their money elsewhere. How did Komen's leadership get sold on this new direction that goes against the basic fabric of the organization?  It is pitiful that the person who convinced this once great organization to sell its soul is an intelligent, influential woman.  How is taking away medical care that helps prevent breast cancer something that God, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, or any other religious person supports?    

PhilanderingMoustache
PhilanderingMoustache

I'm sure those funds will be used for the same thing elsewhere. Pp clinics are awful. I've been to a few in college as a patient and you're treated worse than an animal.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 older than even you Immortal is the old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  So, no, prevention will not happen, and the more expensive treatment for possibly several cancerous events will be our reward.  Not much fiscal competence from the Right wing crowd.  But then again, that's your problem, you don't understand that you reap what you sew. 

Montemalone
Montemalone

You can't expect rich folks to do charity for free.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Not so government funding was cut by Republicans in2011.

Anon
Anon

honestly, I don't think that's true in this case. there are a lot of otherwise reasonable, middle of the road women who don't like the decision. look, Komen can do whatever it wants but it isn't allowed to control what people think. if they don't like the choice that was made, they can rant about it all they want. 

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

What % of receipts does her organization give to actual research?

scottindallas
scottindallas

 Commentary Magazine?  The rag for the Neo-cons, by the neo-cons.  Please, find other sources, and determine the quality and credibility of their propaganda then.  Commentary never met a war they didn't like, yet, will get in bed with "pro-lifers"

Mom sick of Komen BS
Mom sick of Komen BS

PP provides breast screenings/exams just like you get in the doctor's office.  Their patients are younger and therefore not in much need for mammograms, but of course in need of screenings and physician-performed breast exams.  PP is the only doctor many women see yearly.  They charge based on what women can afford.  PP saves lives and prevents unintended pregnancies.  They also counsel women who are ready on how to plan a pregnancy for the healthiest outcome, like prenatal vitamin prescriptions and how long to stay off the pill before trying.  I know because they helped me when my husband and I  were trying to get pregnant with our son.I WILL NEVER GIVE TO KOMEN AGAIN.

Towski
Towski

I believe the same could be said of the comments for Komen. We are all just creatures of the memeosphere, it would appear...

Phelps
Phelps

The problem with your theory is that charity largely comes from the right.  Giant corporate grants aren't going to stop coming in (Komen is too big a name now) and you don't get a significant amount of money from leftie individuals in the first place.

jfpo
jfpo

When they start only offering mammograms to wealthy, conservative women they can rebrand themselves as the "Teat Party."

/sorry

scottindallas
scottindallas

 you don't out and out say it, so I will.  Through all this Komen was only funding mammograms and pap smears, not abortions, birth control, or anything else.

Darren Schmits
Darren Schmits

Just read somewhere that it is around, or below, 20%

Edward
Edward

Apparently it's 16%, according to the Sacramento Bee. That's shameful.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Social liberal, fiscal conservative, gun-owning, pro-choice, NRA member here  I was also a SGK contributor up until right about now.  My dollars will still go to charity, just not to SGK

Augie
Augie

Phelps - that is your Texas perspective showing. In Cali and NY and many other blue states, the politics of the people, even the wealthy, is quite different than the red wash of this state. Additionally, I think to a large degree contributions to this organization tend to be controlled by/contributed by women. I suspect they are likely to be unhappy about removing women's care from the poor regardless of party beliefs.  For the health of poor women in this country, I hope that I am right and you are wrong.  A substantial change in the gifting to Komen is the only hope in getting them to reconsider their new mission of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ as interpreted by the religious right in America in 2012.     

Montemalone
Montemalone

I still think disqus needs a [don't like] button.Until then...

PhilanderingMoustache
PhilanderingMoustache

Any ad hominums you spew only makes me cling more tenaciously to my dislike for pp. As a former client, I have never experienced more degrading medical service. I suppose they think that if you're poor, you can't complain. You can be upset all you want about Komen (an organization I don't support in the slightest because of the stupid for the cure lawsuits), but I think their policy of not granting funds to organizations under investigation is a good one.

scottindallas
scottindallas

any healthcare provider that wishes to accept the medicare pay schedule can.  PP has been excluded, not strong armed.  You doctor may well perform abortions, but not paid by medicaid/care.  But, if he wants to provide covered services, to covered people, for the pay the gov't offers, that's his choice.  In fact, he can't charge a dime more for those services. 

Sorry Moustache, you, like the scarecrow from Wizard of Oz share an affliction--if you only had a brain.  Leave the posts to the head that you're attached to

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

 If only 16% of SGK's money goes to research.  Where does the rest of it go?   So PP got cut off because it is a "pass through" facility that doesn't treat cancer, but it did use the money to fund mammograms.  Aren't mammograms considered the best method for early detection of breast cancer? 

Augie
Augie

Again weak link of entire theory is to say that secularist = democrat, which is not the case.  

I suppose my old 60-40 argument was as far fetched as you thought with Komen reversing their decision today, one day later.  Power to the people.  They spoke and some rich old ladies realized they were a little out of their depth in making decisions that were political in nature, when they had been very successful in their funding raising ventures by staying out of the political fray.  

Chip Orr
Chip Orr

Disagree.  It's not an "optics" thing, Phelps.  Planned Parenthood didn't "politicize" women's health care.  People who don't like Planned Parenthood politicized Planned Parenthood.

Seriously.  Have you ever been to a Planned Parenthood?  Other than to protest, that is.  I have.  And I had to walk through people shouting epithets like "baby killer" to my then-girlfriend who was just getting her birth control pills.  Try those "optics" on.

I do agree that this latest move does not mean Komen is going to stop doing good work.  Komen stopped doing good work long ago.  The "optics" of pink buckets of KFC are far more telling of the problems with Komen than this latest fiasco.  It ain't about women's health when the pink perfume you're selling is carcinogenic.

jfpo
jfpo

He's in fine form today, isn't he?

Stealur
Stealur

Like I'd click on a hoover link...

Phelps
Phelps

Meaning, the secularists keep it for themselves.

Montemalone
Montemalone

This charity is no different than country club dues, as it's given to the church.Secularists, on the other hand, don't have the overhead, and give directly to the end users.

Oak Cliff Clavin
Oak Cliff Clavin

Your citation is the perfect example of using soft, survey data to support a narrative (i.e. that christianists are just all around better folks).

Phelps
Phelps

Right, it's only science if it matches your narrative.

Oak Cliff Clavin
Oak Cliff Clavin

you forgot the "quotes" around the word science.

Not saying you're wrong, but last I checked, Policy Review was not a peer-reviewed scientific journal (nor shy about thier conservative outlook)

Phelps
Phelps

The sticking point is that being associated with PP (a lobbying organization that also provides abortions) was already politicizing Komen.  They were damned if they did, and damned if they didn't.  (It was a tin-eared decision to ever start associating with them, but that ship has sailed.)

So given the option of, even under your assumptions, pissing off 60% of your patrons by giving their money to an organization they consider to be evil or pissing off the other 40%, you keep the 60.

Seriously.  All of the politicization is coming from the pro-PP side.  No one is arguing that Komen is going to stop doing good work.  No one is arguing that PP is going to have any problem funding its primary mission.  The only real complaint is that people don't like the optics of it.

Augie
Augie

This story says that secularist give less than religious people, probably true.  The weakness of it is that is has no causal nexus between secularism and the democratic party beyond that authors belief.  To quote him : "differences in charitable behavior are not particularly apparent between left and right"

To be clear, I suspect you are right that if you dug into Komen's records you'd find more money from folks calling themselves R than D.  I do not think it is anywhere near as stark a contrast in the rest of the US as it is likely to be in our state.  So, even if it is 60/40, then 40% of your donors now think you turned a once purely charitable organization into a political organization.  That is a stupid move, in my opinion. 

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