The Komen Conundrum
If you’ve been living under a rock/sans Internet for the past week, then perhaps you’ve missed the latest Planned Parenthood controversy.
But more likely, you’ve already heard about the uproar when the very popular organization, Susan G. Komen For the Cure did a fairly unpopular thing. They announced that they were ending their grants to Planned Parenthood, which helped uninsured women access breast cancer screenings.
The original claim was for pulling the grants was because now “under investigation” by Republican members of Congress.
The organization’s leadership swore this move wasn’t political. There was substantial reaction. The Internet went crazy. Planned Parenthood raised a lot of money from Mayor Bloomberg and from viewers like you. And then after a few days, the organization relented and reversed their decision.
Article after article after blog post after Facebook status has covered this news story in the last few days. Shock! Outrage! Disbelief!
But…is it really that unbelievable?
This article from Salon.com explains some of the criticism that existed surrounding Susan G. Komen long before the Planned Parenthood debacle. Here are a few highlights.
- The organization raises hundreds of millions of dollars for their causes…and spends 20 percent of that on administration and fundraising – a high-overhead for a non-profit.
- Nancy Brinker, the organization’s founder, is a big GOP donor, and the Board of Directors includes notable anti-abortion activists.
- Some of those ubiquitous “pink” products are not so great for women’s health, including cosmetics with toxins and yogurt with rBGH.
- The organization has sued other “for the cure” campaigns for stealing their product…even though Susan G. Komen actually stole the concept of a breast cancer awareness ribbon from a grassroots activist.
Susan G. Komen may have backed away from their controversial decision, but will the organization be able to recoup its loss in reputation? Or has the organization finally shown its true colors?