News Politics

In True Anti-Choice Coward Fashion, Komen Now Says Its Decision Was “For the Sake of Women”

Jodi Jacobson

Now in its "spin-cycle," Komen for the Cure is trying to justify its actions defunding critical breast cancer screening for the poor with a serious case of "pink-washing." Their rationale? They care about women. So they lie to them and deny them services.

See all our coverage of the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s break with Planned Parenthood here.

Anti-choicers are predictable.  They have no medical, scientific or public health evidence to support their cause, and they are moral fascists, wanting to control what people believe and how they run their lives.

So, invariably, to justify their “fight,” they fall back on the claim that they are just doing it [“it” meaning denying women access to birth control, safe abortion services, breast and cervical cancer exams, blood pressure checks, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and countless other services] because they care. so. much. about. women.

Apparently, in the face of a tidal wave of criticism about the decision to withdraw funding for breast cancer exams from Planned Parenthood affiliates, the Susan G. Komen Foundation is now doing the same. At Jezebel.com, Erin Gloria Ryan reports that as of this afternoon, Komen is out on Facebook denying that its move was “political” because “it is not a political organization,” and that it was motivated by concern for women.

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Seriously? And this organization is in charge of literally billions of dollars of cancer research funding?

Ryan writes:

After working tirelessly to delete negative comments from the page for several hours yesterday, the foundation has released a statement insisting that their decision to defund Planned Parenthood wasn’t political, because they’re not a political organization. Bullshit.

Komen’s absolutely a political organization, and one of their most recent political moves was to hire as it’s Vice President of Communications one Karen Handel, a Sarah Palin-endorsed, rabidly anti-choice failed gubernatorial candidate from Georgia. Even though the services that Komen grants support at Planned Parenthood are mammograms for poor women, Handel was vocally in favor of defunding the organization as a candidate. In addition, Komen’s founder Nancy Brinker was a major donor to George W. Bush.

Ryan writes that Komen for the Cure is “in damage control mode now, insisting in the face of evidence to the contrary that their actions are the result of high-minded concern for women and not mythology-based concern for ideology.”

“An update from their Facebook page reads,”

At Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the women we serve are our highest priority in everything we do. Last year, we invested $93 million in community health programs, which included 700,000 mammograms. Additionally, we began an initiative to further strengthen our grants program to be even more outcomes-driven and to allow for even greater investments in programs that directly serve women. We also implemented more stringent eligibility and performance criteria to support these strategies. While it is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a longstanding partner like Planned Parenthood, we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission.

It is critical to underscore that the women we serve in communities remain our priority. We are working directly with Komen Affiliates to ensure there is no interruption or gaps in services for women who need breast health screening and services.

Grant making decisions are not about politics—our priority is and always will be the women we serve. Making this issue political or leveraging it for fundraising purposes would be a disservice to women.

Their priority is with the women they serve?  You mean the low-income African-American, Latina, Asian, white, and Native American women who would otherwise have received early detection at Planned Parenthood clinics?  Who could have saved time, money, and energy getting a breast exam while also attending to other health needs, like blood pressure checks, diabetes checks, contraceptive information and supplies and other things.  They are concerned about these women? 

Comments from under the Susan G. Komen Foundation's latest Facebook status update.

Comments from under the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s latest Facebook status update.

I don’t think so. 

Fanatical anti-choicers are aligned with–indeed part of the fabric of–a movement which is evidence right now in the presidential primary race, a movement based in fear of independent choices and decision-making, hatred for the poor, and hatred especially for women who are poor or who do not want to become mothers right now, or again, or ever.  Anti-choicers and their political supporters in the GOP presidential field are so far distant from facts and evidence and common sense when they take actions such as the one by Komen, they might as well already be living in Newt’s lunar colony.

Thanks, but no thanks, Komen.  We’ll do without your brand of concern.  There is no pinkwashing that.

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