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Komen Caves and the Tipping Point

Just announced about half an hour ago on CNN: The Komen Foundation is reversing its decision to defund Planned Parenthood :

The Susan G. Komen foundation has reversed a controversial decision not to renew funding for some Planned Parenthood projects, the group said in a statement Friday.

“We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives,” the statement said. “We 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.”

[...]

CREDO, which describes itself as the largest corporate donor to Planned Parenthood, said Thursday that 250,000 of its members had signed a petition urging the Komen Foundation to reverse its decision.

“The move is clearly connected to attempts by Republicans in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood,” the organization said in a statement. “In responding to questions about its decision, the foundation cited as its rationale a sham ‘investigation’ into Planned Parenthood launched by Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns.” who the group called “one of the most militant anti-choice members of Congress.”

When I was on Twitter yesterday, I saw a many, many tweets from women who were fed up with the efforts of the religious right to force their ideology on them.  We may have reached the tipping point.

If I were a Democratic politician, I would use this weekend to reassess my position on caving to the right on just about everything.  The religious right is on its way out and so may be any politician that panders to them.

More on the reversal by Jennifer Preston at TheLede at the NYTimes. Here’s another data point on the Tipping Point hypothesis:

It was the perception that the Komen foundation was inserting politics into providing health care services, especially to underserved women, that helped prompt a firestorm of debate online and offline.

At Planned Parenthood, Heather Holdridge, who is the director of digital advocacy strategy, said there have been multiple online organizing efforts in the past on the organization’s behalf, but this one was different, in part, because people organized themselves online.

“I think this was a tipping point for us,” Ms. Holdridge said. “I think something has happened, where people are upset that two great organizations that have this shared mission were now in this difficult position. And so, we have been seeing that response through our supporters, some of whom, were not our supporters before Tuesday afternoon.”

The Komen foundation said that it would be making calls to its key supporters and affiliates starting this afternoon to figure out how to “get back to doing our work. “We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.”

Women are tired of this crap.  It’s been 40 years of fighting off these raging religious lunatics who stubbornly refuse to evolve past 1300 BC.  It’s not a coincidence that the number of atheist, freethinker and skeptic groups and online voices have sprung up in the past couple of years.  Since Obama took office, the right has had a free for all because the Democrats absolutely refused to push back for fear of losing the votes of the religious.  It’s been the Conscience Rule, followed by the Stupak debacle in the health care bill, the Mississippi Personhood amendment, Kathleen Sebelius overruling the FDA advisory board on Plan B and the red beanie boys from Vatican Inc.  There’s been very little standing between the rabidly anti-choice inmates who have taken over the asylum and women.  Democrats don’t want to get involved unless they can turn it into some kind of campaign trick.

And reproductive rights are just the tip of the iceberg.  The economy is still lousy and is staying lousy for women who don’t get hired back at the same rates as men.  We still have to put up with discrimination at work because it’s subtle and if a guy’s not groping you, there’s no accountability.  It’s only gotten worse since Obama and his macho guys stomped all over Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin in 2008.  But it didn’t stop there.  They took that assholery and unaccountable behavior into the White House where their dismissive behavior and the refusal of some of the bigwigs to work with women like Sheila Bair, Christina Romer and Elizabeth Warren has lead to the continuation of a lagging economy at the mercy of unpunished bankers.

It’s hard to believe that the majority segment of the population of this country is as besieged as it is.  It’s just one damn thing after another.  Komen was the last straw.

We need a zillion woman march on Washington.  This shit’s got to stop.

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26 Responses

  1. Time to demand an investigation of the Susan G Komen Foundation and the connections to the right wing and its political underpinnings. Time to demand the immediate resignations of any and all SGK people who promoted this POS. This organization needs the same scrutiny as the Second Mile is getting because of the scandal of Jerry Sandusky in Penn State. Once the rock is lifted and the vermin crawl out, you need to take a closer look at what was going on under the pink rock. The finances seem a tad suspicious. $93 million a year in grants and Planned Parenthood only got 1% while it serviced 20% of the women. Seems like PPA should be due a huge increse. Where the hell is the money going? Research? or is it all just a way to finance the lifestyles of the SGK honchos and make a few pinko products to camouflage the lack of efficacy in the spending of the SGK funds.

  2. I just started a new FB page that I hope you will support. 50 years ago, women fought for the rights to govern our own bodies. Today, those rights are being subverted by religious, political and corporate interests. It’s time to OCCUPY OUR BODIES … again. This page will provide a forum for comments, discussions and articles to galvanize all who will not stand for the new assault on women’s bodies and our right to make our own decisions.

    Please pass this along to your friends, too.

  3. RD:

    I was told once, by someone on a blog I will not mention, that as a “Man” I had no right injecting my thoughts into this debate. At the time I was a bit taken aback by the way this person chose to come at me

    But…

    As a father of two beautiful, intelligent, strong and independent young women and the husband of a woman who is not only my “partner but my equal…(and in many ways she is much more than that) I do have something to say about the attacks on women’s Reproductive rights, health issues and the way the “Religious jihad” on a woman’s worth is being waged, not only in this country but around the world!

    I believe no man has a right to tell a woman what she can and can not do with “HER BODY!”

    I believe that “NO MAN” has a right to tell a woman what she can and can not do with her womb!

    I firmly believe that as a man I have NO RIGHT to tell a woman she has to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term and “UNTIL” I as a man can “CARRY” a pregnancy to term and “DELIVER” that child ( and we know that will never happen )…. Then I along with every other man needs to…………STFU!

    I support a woman’s right to chose……PERIOD!

    I believe that using a woman’s health/Reproductive rights etc as a political tool is disgusting and anyone that attempts to do so needs to be shamed publicly and outed for the ignorant/sexist pig that he/she is!

    I Believe that the only way that the Susan G Koman Foundation can get the respect it has lost in this misguided attempt to pander to the “Religious Wing-nuts” that are waging a jihad against women is to rid itself of the “Rights” puppets within this organization!

    It’s obvious the foundation never expected the backlash they received. Let us hope this has served as a wake up call to all involved.

    ENOUGH!

    Anyway…this is what i as a man feel about it. Keep up the good work RD!

    • I have one daughter and a very similar experience a blog not named Confluence. My piggery was horrible beyond the pale due to my penis possession. Your position matches mine 100%, though I may be militant enough to be a Feminazi. Women should be madder than Hell and they should not take it anymore. (Roseann Barr wants the Green nomination– protest vote if the choice is Mitt/Barry.) However, we shouldn’t get so angry we waste our votes and energy and money. So, Planned Parenthood is my new charity of choice.

  4. shorter komen: “oops”

  5. The Korman foundation will rue the day that the hired fundies to make granting decisions. The Korman Foundation 2010 Federal Tax form has been put on-line. Big OOPS….only 41% of the $177 million spent when for breast cancer project. (The Chamber of Commerce guidelines for charities/foundations says that at least 65% should be spent on the “cause”). Who’s getting the big salaries, who’s living it up on the $2 million travel expense and who’s getting the $13 million in “consulting” fees, etc., etc. ?????

  6. I do not think they have changed anything except the language that they are going to use in cutting out the funding for PP. This is a PR strategy because they have been hammered. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/komen-caved-or-did-it/2012/02/03/gIQA9tS9mQ_blog.html
    “The question now is what its announcement actually means.
    I just got off the phone with a Komen board member, and he confirmed that the announcement does not mean that Planned Parenthood is guaranteed future grants — a demand he said would be “unfair” to impose on Komen. He also said the job of the group’s controversial director, Nancy Brinker, is safe, as far as the board is concerned.”

    This PR move is about stopping the bleeding and saving Nancy Brinker’s ass. Sorry to be rude but it is what it is.

    • Still, it’s a positive sign that they do feel they must stop the bleeding and save Fancy Nancy’s arse. :twisted:

      • Only to the extent that they can be pushed. But it does indicate that the purpose of the board is to save ole Nancy’s butt rather than their “mission”. They have been exposed as a mega marketing corporation to generate funds for the self perpetuation of the founder and her cronies. We gotta keep pushing and digging.

        • The more I “Read” on their “supposed” reversal the more I am of the opinion that this is a ploy to stop the bleeding. As long as the “Fundies” run this organization…. nothing but the wording will change!
          imho

  7. I’m a Republican since 2008 before that I was an Independent and until Democrats openly acknowledge the sexism of the 2008 Democrat Primary and take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again I don’t see myself voting for them again.

    That said I am sick of the assault on women’s health care and Reproductive rights. I’m sick of the Republicans pandering to these right wing backward fringe people and I’m sick of the Democrats using reproductive right scare tactics on women voters and defining abortion as THE women’s issue (along with fashion updates from the White house). Here is the “women’s issue” I care about….Parity in political representation for women and I want it yesterday. And I want action not a bunch of philosophical do nothing yapping.

    Women’s groups should pick a name to write in for President for those women who aren’t happy (for whatever reason) with any of the choices offered on the ballot and that way we can get a count of women who show up at the polls and vote their local issues but skip the Presidential vote. The two parties should be afraid to offend us.

  8. I heard a very skeletal news report about that on NPR. I couldn’t tell from the language used whether Komen has really reversed, or whether Komen is just going to let current grants run out and then refuse to renew . . just like before . . . and is merely trying to spin the audience with lawyerly language.

    I had not even heard of Komen at all before this, which shows how deep a well I live at the bottom of, I suppose. Still, what I have just recently read about the head of Komen being a Christian Authoritarian
    Republican Operative of many years standing, should decent people trust Komen with anything at all? Or should Komen be “put to death” as an example to the others and as an inspiring victory to those targets of Christian Authoritarianism who have nothing more left to surrender and nowhere left to retreat to? I am too Johny-come-lately to knowledge of this group to suggest an answer, but is the question itself the wrong question?

    And if the decision is made to believe Komen means it, how is one to really know? As noted author William S. Burroughs once said:
    ” If you ever do bussiness with a religious son of a bitch, get. it. in. writing. “

    • And now I see from Barb up above that Komen is indeed merely spinning its loyalty to current policy. It is not my place to say that Komen should be “put to death”, but if those whose place it is to say that decide to say that, I certainly don’t presume to say “give them a second chance”.

  9. Hey, they’re Democrat politicians, trembling in fear with their head up their ass is normal. No way are they going to stand up to the raving religious lunatics on the right. Hell, they can’t sand up to the ones in their own party like Stupak or Casey jr.

  10. I found a possibly-interesting post and thread over on the “reddit”, about the Komen decision and pretended reversal and what bunches of random reddit readers think about it. The first few comments were interesting and maybe the others are too.
    http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/pa3yr/dear_susan_g_komen_you_dont_get_to_test_the/

    • This comment was so good, I stole it and posted it to Facebook! ::

      ” In regards to the Susan G. Komen apology: “We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that resulted in completely unexpected scrutiny of our CEO’s unconscionably high salary, obscenely high overhead to actual good ratio, longstanding links to Republican politicians, huge budget for taking oppressive legal actions against other charities that dare use the word ‘cure,’ vast marketing and lobbying budgets, and long-standing history of secretly lobbying against federal assistance to women with breast cancer. Based upon the last ten years, we truly had no idea that we couldn’t do whatever the hell we wanted with gullible contributors’ money. We thought that the corpse of our CEO’s sister was an impenetrable shield that protected all of our actions from scrutiny or accountability. We appreciate your support while we try to figure out WTF has changed. However, although the sudden spike in scrutiny and precipitous drop in fundraising and sponsorships scared the crap out of us, we want to assure all of you that, even as we desperately attempt to salvage something out of the conflagration burning our brand to the ground, we will continue to flat-out lie to your face and generally assume you are all still such credulous imbeciles that we can shamelessly stick to obvious falsehoods or change our story from minute to minute as whim or panic dictate. Now please stop looking into our finances, lobbying and legal activities and strong political connections with right wing politicians. Stop it right now or Susan will be angry, very angry with you. Thank you.”

  11. It seems Komen hired Ari Fleischer to screen and hire a new Senior Vice President for Communications and External Relations. Yes it was THAT Ari Fleischer and he was hired secretly. “According to a source with first-hand knowedge, Fleischer drilled prospective candidates during their interviews on how they would handle the controversy about Komen’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.” http://phoenixwoman.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/susan-g-komens-apolitical-planned-parenthood-diss-crafted-by-gop-operative-
    ari-fleischer/
    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/02/03/418797/exclusive-ari-fleischer-komen-planned-parenthood/?mobile=nc
    Komen deliberately set this whole thing up with the assistance of hired guns like Fleischer and it blew up in their face. They have not changed their tune and have also defunded stem cell research which is not even being mentioned in the press. They have gone right wing nut but wanted to keep dipping into left wing pockets simultaneously. Hiring Fleischer to help cover up their actions is a major indicator of what they have been up to.

  12. The problem for Komen is that the powers that be there treated the situation like a winger in govt might treat a similar policy toward an govt agency (which shows to me that past right wing govt folks had their hands in this)…They thought they could quietly withdraw because as much as it might piss us hippies off, we can’t do anything about it. We have to pay our taxes anyway and we can suck it up and put up.

    However, this is different. Unlike with our right wing govt, we have the option of not funding these guys and we can sink them. So, Komen had to (sort of) back down.

    Komen has a lot more nasty in their history than this. Please, please, please don’t forgive and forget….

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