Komen backs off, dishonestly
by David Atkins
Well, this was quick:
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation announced Friday that it would revise a new policy that barred the organization from funding Planned Parenthood, a move that had thrust the breast cancer foundation into a national controversy.
Komen apologized “to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.”
The foundation said that Planned Parenthood would now be eligible to apply for grants. It did not, however, address other reasons Komen has cited for why it might choose not to approve such grants.
“Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation,” a Friday statement said. “We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.”
“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,” the statement continues.
The statement left some ambiguity, however, because it did not mention a second reason Komen has given for ending Planned Parenthood’s funding: that the group did not provide direct mammogram services but instead referred patients to other providers.
In some ways, this statements raises even more questions than it answers. (Actually, I have all the answers, anyway.)
Will they continue to fund Planned Parenthood? (Probably.) If so, were their stories about defunding PP because it doesn't provide direct mammogram services always insincere excuses? (Probably yes.) If they intend to deny funding for organizations wrapped up in criminal rather than political investigations, does that mean Penn State University will lose their funding? (Maybe yes, to save face.) And why did Penn State not lose its funding in the first place? (Because it was never about the cloud of investigation, but about capitulating to right-wing pressure.)
Most of all? It's about money. Komen knows that most women don't just care about the upper half of their bodies: they care about their whole bodies, and about being seen as people, not just gestational vessels. They know that after throwing women under the bus, other organizations that actually care about the whole woman will step up to the plate to take money for breast cancer research, awareness and treatment.
In fact, it may already be too late. At the very least, no one should consider giving Komen a single dime until Karen Handel is fired or resigns in disgrace. And even then, the organization needs to answer some very serious questions about why she was hired in the first place, and what their real mission is.