The Susan. G Komen for the Cure foundation had the clout to monopolize the color pink to enhance their brand; now, it's showing off its political power and coming under serious fire for it.
It's only been a few days since Susan G. Komen announced it would no longer be providing grants worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood that were mainly used to support lifesaving breast cancer screenings, but the division between the two organizations is sparking serious controversy.
Fingers are pointing at Komen's new vice president, Karen Handel. Handel ran for Georgia governor in 2010 on an aggressive anti-abortion platform [see today's Morning News and Stuff]; Sarah Palin, who fiercely endorsed Handel, deemed her one of her "Mama Grizzlies." Opponents of the decision insists it's a result of bullying from anti-abortion activists.
Abortion accounts for a tiny percentage of services offered by Planned Parenthood.
The Komen foundation insists that the pulled funding isn’t a result of political pressure, but rather a reorganization of funding.
Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) issued a statement denouncing Komen's decision. "I call on Komen to reconsider this decision, stand strong in the face of political pressure and do the right thing for the health of millions of women everywhere," he said.
According to a statement on the Planned Parenthood website, the pulled funding puts low-income women at immediate risk; “We believe that women of all economic levels need access to breast health screenings, referrals and education. We’re determine to make sure that Komen’s decision doesn’t jeopardize these women’s access to health care,” says the site.
After the news broke, Planned Parenthood supporters reacted by contributing $650,000 in just 24 hours, nearly enough to replace last year’s funding from Komen.
Despite significant backlash, Nancy Brinker, Komen’s founder and chief executive officer, insists Komen “will never bow down to political pressure.”