By Henry Decker

Komen Foundation’s Calculated Right Wing Turn

February 2, 2012 10:16 pm Category: Memo Pad, National News 10 Comments A+ / A-

Much of the reaction to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s decision to cut ties with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has focused on the idea that the foundation sadly succumbed to political pressure from the right. This line of analysis misses the point. Komen didn’t bend to pressure from the right; it made a calculated decision to support the right wing war against women’s rights.

Komen has defended its decision to halt its funding for the womens health group by claiming that it would not longer fund organizations that are under investigation. This claim doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Of the roughly 2,000 organizations to which Komen gives out grants, Planned Parenthood turned out to be the only one affected by the supposed no-investigations rule. That’s not to say that it’s the only group which could be affected. As Mother Jones reports, Penn State University — which is currently the subject of a federal investigation related to the sexual assault allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky — is currently the beneficiary of a five year, $7.5 million grant from Komen.

Clearly, something else is going on here. As Jeffrey Goldberg writes in The Atlantic, sources within the Komen Foundation claim that the foundation made a specific political decision to defund Planned Parenthood.

“The cart came before the horse in this case,” said the source, who spoke to me on condition of anonymity. “The ["no-investigations"] rule was created to give the board of directors the excuse to stop the funding of Planned Parenthood. It was completely arbitrary. If they hadn’t come up with this particular rule, they would have come up with something else in order to separate themselves from Planned Parenthood.”

Goldberg’s account of Komen actively searching for ways to go after Planned Parenthood is corroborated by Connie Schultz, who reported that Doug Scott — the president of right win pro-life group Life Decisions International — all but admitted to her that Komen told him about their decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood a full two weeks before they told Planned Parenthood itself.

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Komen Foundation’s Calculated Right Wing Turn Reviewed by on . Much of the reaction to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation's decision to cut ties with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has focused on the i Much of the reaction to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation's decision to cut ties with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has focused on the i Rating:

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Comments

  • ivan and Maria Vamos

    we are relegating our Koman run/walk “pink ribbon T shirts” to the rag bin. Adding to our donations to Planned Parenthood.

  • fuscoja3@aol.com

    Hijack – Smyjack—Komen has every right to determine how, where, when, how much or how little they are willing to fund ANYTHING. No body owns them, it’s not a publicly traded corp, it’s a foundation. It would appear the larger portion of doners and board members get are applying what they believe is best for the fighting CANCER funds. Guess what, they are tired of writing checks and having there dollars funnel to organizations and causes outside of their charter. They are not an abortion rights activitist organization, it about CANCER dufusses. Waaaaaa….some one took my bottle away waaaaa….

  • fuscoja3@aol.com

    Hijack – Smyjack—Komen has every right to determine how, where, when, how much or how little they are willing to fund ANYTHING. No body owns them, it’s not a publicly traded corp, it’s a foundation. It would appear the larger portion of doners and board members get are applying what they believe is best for the fighting CANCER funds. Guess what, they are tired of writing checks and having there dollars funnel to organizations and causes outside of their charter. They are not an abortion rights activitist organization, it about CANCER dufusses. Waaaaaa….some one took my bottle away waaaaa….

  • adlerman

    If you lay down with dogs like Koman did- you get fleas. No money to Koman from me.

  • Jim Baxter

    Start a new Foundation and be done with it.

  • Sleipnir

    When an organization starts letting politics dictate policy it’s time to find a new charity to support. Stem cell research may some day find a cure for breast cancer but I guess that’s no longer their mission. Good bye Susan G. Komen.

  • Vermont-View

    Now that the Komen Foundation has done the right thing by reversing their anti-women’s rights move, isn’t it time for Karen Handel, the foundation’s new senior vice president for public policy, to resign her post? Surely she made a stupid move, and she and those who may have gone along with her all need to go. The Komen Foundation has supported women’s causes for many years,most notably their support to finding ways to prevent and/or cure breast canacer. I have always been a supporter of the pink, but will noy continue to support this cause as long as this misguided lady, Ms. Karen Handel, remains in the ranks!

  • BruceAMcIntyre

    As stated above, it is perfectly the right of the Komen foundation to disburse funds any way that they want… However, it is ALSO perfectly the right of donors who object to the politicization of Women’s Health to put their money, time, and efforts somewhere else. It is clear that the board, as run by Ms. Handel, has decided to move to curtail women’s reproductive rights, which should have NOTHING to do with the stated goals of Komen foundation stance on Cancer. They have seen the last of me and my family’s attention to this until it is clear that they have changed this agenda, and not just stepped back for a moment.

  • kansas-dem

    Evidently, the Komen Foundation got the message loud and clear from folks all across the country. They have agreed to fully fund the Planned Parenthood grants after all! They reversed course after a flood of criticism regarding the earlier decision and they were concerned that their good name and mission would be compromised. Congratulations to them for having the guts to change course and do the right thing!

  • c_f_harderson

    My concern is how much compensation are the executive board of the Komen Foundation receiving for their time and services. The outrageous pay for millions of dollars that are going to CEO’s, CFO’s, vice-presidents, and others executives of large foundations and “not-for-profit” companies like Welmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield are appalling. They drain precious resources away from the main purpose of those foundations and “not-for-profit” companies. Those salaries and other compensations should be public information. I personally believe that anything over $1/yr and reimbursement of expenses is appropriate and fair.

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