The Susan G. Komen Foundation-Planned Parenthood Ethics Train Wreck

Unlike the 26 U.S. Senators who are unethically abusing their positions by presuming to demand that an independent non profit organization expend its funds according to their interests, I am not going to tell the board of the Susan G. Komen Foundation how to pursue its mission…because as with the Senators, it is none of my business. Ethics is my business, and the full-blown ethics train wreck surrounding the Foundation’s decision to end its substantial financial support of Planned Parenthood has been created by dishonesty, misrepresentation and a lack of fairness from all directions.

Here are some unpopular ethics truths in this fiasco.

  • The decision of the Komen Board to end its support of Planned Parenthood was in part based on political considerations, and there is nothing inappropriate or unethical about that. Deny it though they may, Planned Parenthood, because it is the largest provider of abortion services in the country, is correctly perceived as a political and ideological organization. That’s not wrong, and it’s not really avoidable, since abortion is still a (legitimately) controversial social and political issue. Support for Planned Parenthood will be perceived as support for abortion, and anyone who denies that is being willfully obtuse, or lying.
  • This is proven by the furious reaction of people, pundits, politicians, activists and other groups to the Komen Foundation’s decision to end its relationship with Planned Parenthood. Are we really expected to believe that those attacking Komen, every single one of whom is pro-abortion,  are doing so because of Planned Parenthood’s mammogram referral services or its breast cancer screenings? Tell me another. The anger comes because Komen’s decision is perceived as a retreat from support of abortion rights. You know it, I know it, Komen knows it, Planned Parenthood knows it, and the critics know it.
  • If Komen’s financial support of Planned Parenthood was either intended to constitute support of abortion, or perceived that way, there is and was  nothing wrong with that. But not financially supporting an organization that provides abortions is not the same as opposing abortion. I stopped supporting the ACLU financially because I didn’t care for their choice of cases, but I support their mission and the organization wholeheartedly. It is true that with politically-charged issues like abortion, zealots and activists like to box us all into “you are either with us or against us” traps. We still don’t have to accept it, and neither does Komen. The Foundation is officially and traditionally apolitical, as it should be, because the issue of preventing breast cancer should not be a topic of political debate. If the Foundation’s leadership decides that supporting the politically-controversial Planned Parenthood is, upon reflection, a breach of that tradition, it should be able to withdraw without being labelled an abortion foe. When it starts giving grants to anti-abortion organizations, then Komen can fairly be accused of taking the other side. It has a right to remains neutral, and as a non-profit with a mission unrelated to abortion, remaining neutral is probably the wiser course.
  • Unfortunately, Komen managed to handle its withdrawal badly, and was dishonest in the process, which will always raise suspicion. First it said that the decision was made to comply with a new policy preventing the Foundation from giving grants to organizations under investigation. Since the Congressional investigation in question is a right-wing Republican attack on Planned Parenthood, this explanation made what was supposed to be an apolitical decision look politically motivated. This lazy “we had no choice!” explanation is a favorite dodge used of organizations when they decide to take action that they know will attract criticism. It is cowardly, dishonest, and a rejection of accountability. Komen had a choice: the “policy” sounds like it was conveniently crafted to provide an alibi for dropping Planned Parenthood. Now the Foundation says that it wants to re-direct support to groups that provide more direct breast heath services—that perform mammograms for low-income women, for example, rather than merely providing referrals, which is what Planned Parenthood does. That is an unassailable rationale, consistent with Komen’s mission. But what is the “real” reason for dropping Planned Parenthood? It is a mix, of course, like the reasoning behind most decisions. What matters is that the decision can be defended within the mission of the organization, and it can. The fact that various political and ideological factors may have been part of the mix is irrelevant.

  The Foundation now has apologized for its weasel-words, and now says that it will not automatically exclude potential grantees based on   investigations, unless they are related to criminal allegations. This is just PR repair work.

  • Non profit organizations are ethically required to act in accordance with their mission statements, and the mission of the Susan G. Komen Foundation does not mention abortion and is not related to abortion. Therefore, while the mission certainly would not bar grants to an organization like Planned Parenthood, one that is widely identified with abortion services but that also provides services that advance Komen’s mission, it in no way obligates Komen to support such an organization, either.
  • By what rule, right or principle do those not involved with the management of an operating foundation presume to tell that foundation’s leadership who and what it should support, and how it should pursue its mission? Since when does a grant-seeking organization demand that it be given money by a grant-maker? How dare anyone condemn a charitable organization for pursuing its mission as it sees fit and is statutorily authorized to do, as long as it is not abusing its charter? The attacks on Komen by Planned Parenthood allies are examples of bullying, and they approach being shakedowns. “Give hundreds of thousands to who WE think you should give to, or we’ll hurt you!” That’s not fair; it’s not just and it should be roundly condemned. The always juvenile, crude and over-the-top gang at Move-On. org, for example, are telling their followers to post a typically illiterate graphic on Facebook that states: “I stand with groups that don’t screw over Planned Parenthood and 1,000’s of women in the process. Sorry, Susan G. Komen, that means NOT you.” I have raised money for many non profits, and been disappointed by many rejections as well as grants that were eliminated after a year or ten. Never has it occurred to me to regard the choice of a foundation not to give my organization money as  “screwing it.” An organization, whatever its merits, has no right to receive, or demand, a grant from anybody. Neither does Planned Parenthood. I have also been involved with grant-making organizations, and any past recipient that had the deluded sense of entitlement to attack us for not funding it in a given year would have a large “DON’T FUND EVER AGAIN!” note placed in its file.
  • Finally, returning to the 26 Senators: I thought the 2005 Republican Congress’s efforts to attempts to pressure the husband of Terri Schiavo to keep her in a vegetative existence was the most despicable, arrogant and revolting abuse of legislative power I had ever seen, and I suppose it still is the champion. But for more than a fourth of the U.S. Senate to presume to tell a non profit organization how it should spend over a half-million dollars as it seeks to cure breast cancer, and to try to turn its constituents against a foundation that not only has an admirable mission but that also has pursued that mission admirably, is a close second. This is an outrageous abuse of power, and this time, it’s all Democrats (well, 25 Democrats and Bernie Sanders, a socialist), proving once again that when stupidity and bad ethics are involved, the only difference between Blue and Red elected officials is opportunity.

Let the Susan G. Komen Foundation spend its money to cure breast cancer its own way, and judge it by its success, not by which zealots it makes happy in the process.

Everyone involved has, to various degrees, behaved unethically.

And that, my friends, is what makes it an Ethics Train Wreck.

 

53 thoughts on “The Susan G. Komen Foundation-Planned Parenthood Ethics Train Wreck

  1. “By what rule, right or principle do those not involved with the management of an operating foundation presume to tell that foundation’s leadership who and what it should support, and how it should pursue its mission?”

    Those who donate money to an organization should be able to tell its directors what it should support and how it should pursue its mission. Management is free not to listen and past donors are free not to donate again. If donors demand that the foundation spend its money in a certain way or else they won’t donate again, this isn’t a “shakedown”, just responsible philanthropy.

    It would be unethical to scare donors away from a charity based on lies. It sounds like Move On was over the top, but did they lie?

    I agree that politicians should not use their public power to influence a non-governmental organization, unless, of course, it gets government grants. The government then has a responsibility to ensure that the charity is using what was public money responsibly.

    • What?
      Donors may designate donations for special programs, but they absolutely have no standing to object to what a Foundation does NOT support, as long as the money it expends meets its objective and mission. Where did you ever get such an idea? A donor doesn’t run the organization he gives to…the money is given, and if the donor doesn’t like what the Foundation does with it, the donor can stop giving. But that doesn’t mean the Foundation did anything wrong, or can be condemned by any definition of fairness.

      Did move on lie? No, because they are ignoramuses, and probably believe their nonsense. Komen is not “screwing” anyone, because that implies failing to meet an ethical obligation to support abortions,, and they have none. Irresponsible, incompetent and unfair is bad enough, don’t you think?

      • What do you mean “no standing” to object? If someone donates or might donate to a foundation, the fact that they are giving them money gives them standing to advise the charity as to how they want the gift used. Assuming the gift is not a conditional gift, the charity is free to ignore them, but they do so knowing that they might not get further donations. You agree that if a donor doesn’t like what a foundation does with their money, they can stop giving. What is wrong with telling the foundation that you think they should be doing something else with the money before you cut them off?

  2. Jack I am glad you addressed this matter.

    The very first reaction I had to news of the controversy was, I recognized just as immediately, out of my bias against Planned Parenthood. It seemed to me that PP was, as one, lashing out at Komen like a catty, grade school girl: “How DARE you not be my friend, you enemy-unless-you’re-my-friend!” I agree with your point here; it expresses my point of view beyond my initial reaction:

    “…while the mission certainly would not bar grants to an organization like Planned Parenthood, one that is widely identified with abortion services but that also provides services that advance Komen’s mission, it in no way obligates Komen to support such an organization, either. “

  3. Jack the lashing out I saw was overwhelmingly from women who had donated time and money to Komen by participating in their 3 day walks or runs. With out these women Komen would cease to exist so I would say they have every right to tell Komen where to donate their money.

    Komen as an organization is a money making bonaza where less then 25 percent of their income goes to research. They are also well know for sueing everyone and anyone who uses the phrase “for the cure” in a fund rasier or uses the color pink.

    • Well, they don’t just don’t, Bill. The runners weren’t deceived—they ran—supposedly—to seek funds for a cure to breast cancer, not to support abortions, or an organization that performs abortions. And their copyright protection efforts, extreme or not, has absolutely nothing to do with how well they do their jobs.

      • Most of the rhetoric I heard (myself included) was not ‘telling’ Komen where to spend donations or what their mission statement should be but instead we were simply stating that we would ‘no longer contribute’ to their charity.

        Do we not have the right to cease supporting a charity when we don’t, for whatever reason, like the direction it is takes?

        • Oh, really? Since when do private decisions to give to another charity become front page stories and prompt hate attacks and demands from the Senate? Charges of betrayal? Angry op-ed pieces? Threats? Boycotts?

          • They became front page news when Facebook entered the picture. I did choose to support PP and I stand by that decision. I believe SGK made the decision to stop funding for political reasons and I that distrubed me. I felt their decision forced me to choose which charity to support but I certainly never wanted to see the mob turn on SGK the way it has – I agree with you that boycotts etc are counterproductive and tantamount to bullying. SGK has done a lot of good, trust me I know. As to the Senators getting involved … well wasn’t that what started all this in the first place.

          • Komen’s decision to disassociate itself with Planned Parenthood would have been news regardless of the response of Planned Parenthood or its supporters. Planned Parenthood is a controversial organization, and the decision of a large foundation to cease association with it very newsworthy.

            I don’t know what you mean about “hate attacks”. Did anyone physically attack anybody over the defunding? There was heated rhetoric, but there generally is about anything controversial.

            In the letter from the Senate, they did not “demand” anything. They expressed disappointment with Komen’s decision, praised Planned Parenthood and expressed hope that Komen would reverse its decision. They did not threaten Komen with government sanction or anything else (except adverse outcomes for women who use Planned Parenthood). Maybe there was some subtext that made this a demand, but I don’t see it. Did they abuse their public offices to privilege their position on this issue? I don’t think so, but even if they did, it doesn’t rise to the level of a Senatorial demand.

            Komen’s decision angered people. Is there a problem if some of them write an op-ed about it?

            As for threats and boycotts, those who are opposed to abortion have threatened to boycott Komen if they did not cut their ties with Planned Parenthood (see http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-komen-planned-parenthood-tictoc-20120204,0,4481867.story). If Komen changes its behaviour based on what abortion opponents threaten to do (if that is in fact what happened), why can’t Planned Parenthood’s supporters do the same thing? Should the decisions of charities only be influenced by one side of an argument?

  4. Ha! Foolish me. I always thought that one looked at the charitable organization’s stated objectives and if you share their vision you kick down a few bucks. If you don’t like their plan you don’t donate. What you don’t do is give them money and then try to dictate their mission. I know some people like to give lots of money and then dictate, but its not right.

    If the organization claims one objective and then goes another direction, you can demand your contribution back (good luck with that) and find another group that meets your expectations and support them.

    As to Komen, their support of PP was not hidden, and supporting one aspect of PP’s program, even with dedicated funds, would obviously free up other undedicated funds for, possibly, work you did not support. All donors need to clarify these things up-front.

  5. A real example of what Komen is (partially) being accused of:

    in 2001, The United Way solicited donations to “help victims of the 9/11 attacks”, then later announced that they would use the donations as they see fit–including causes other than 9/11 victims.

    THAT was a case where people made donations thinking they were going to a particular cause, and then having a right to be angry that their donations were not being used that way.

    –Dwayne

  6. ‘I believe SGK made the decision to stop funding for political reasons and I that distrubed me.’

    And the political machinations to force them to continue donating? Disturbing or not?

    Thank you for addressing this Jack. The attitudes and posts of those backing Planned Parenthood on Facebook, CNN etc are just vicious. I agree completely.

    Eric, the fact that lawmakers got involved at all is unethical. Sanctions, no, but certainly pressure. The Facebook campaign and the letter from politicians amounted to blackmail, and the Komen Fondation caved in . How I wish they hadn’t, but had stuck by their decision. As in the Ina Garten incident, a huge campaign of public shaming and threats were used to change a person’s or an organizations’ decisions against their will. This means that the Komen Foundation is now strapped into supporting Planned Parenthood into perpetuity, does that sound right?

    ‘If Komen changes its behaviour based on what abortion opponents threaten to do (if that is in fact what happened), why can’t Planned Parenthood’s supporters do the same thing?’

    They did it, so so can someone else? I hope nobody jumps off the roof any time soon 😉

    Bullying is bullying and it won’t be right no matter who does it.

    • I disagree that it is unethical for lawmakers to “get involved” with the decisions of a private charity is per se unethical. Public figures can be opinion leaders, speaking out on issues that matter to them. If they had used their power to threaten SGK (say, with a loss of charitable status), then I agree that that would be an unethical use of their power.

      Unlike roof-jumping, the tactics of the those who did not want SGK to support Planned Parenthood appear to have worked (at least for a while). Saying you will not donate to an organization that does something you do not like and being vocal about it is not illegal, indeed, I would even argue that it is a good thing because it forces charities to become more responsive to their donors. I don’t know why you would expect supporters of Planned Parenthood to follow Marquess of Queensberry rules and silently lose the debate to Planned Parenthood’s more vocal opponents?

      • Focusing the power of the government on purely private decisions, and that’s what a foundation’s decisions are, is absolutely unethical. How would you like 26 Senators releasing a letter to the press criticizing how you run your life? It’s no different. Talk about the tendrils of government presuming to invade every aspect of life!

        The Komen decision was not anti-abortion..it was a retreat to neutrality, as I wrote. What the vociferous critics are saying is that they care more about aborting unborn babies than curing breast cancer.

        Good to know.

        • If I was planning to do something of public importance, I wouldn’t object to public figures or anyone else asking me to do it some other way or not to do it at all. The beauty of living in a free country that I wouldn’t have to do as they say.

          • Of course. But those people in power have disproportionate influence and a big microphone. It’s unfair, it’s meddling, it’s presumptuous. I would have no trouble telling them all to go to Hell either, but not everyone is as resistant to bullying as you or I.

            • On the other hand, there is always the possibility that I was about to do something foolish, in which case the public figures are doing me a favour in telling me not to do it. The nice thing that if I want to do something that I have a right to do, they cannot stop me, only advise and attempt to persuade me.

              I read the letter written by the Senators and it seemed polite and non-threatening. I might be missing a subtext but it did not appear that they were saying that they would take legislative action against SGK or mobilize their supporters not to support SGK if they did not reverse their decision. If they did do so, then I would agree that they were unethical. I would hope that, if SGK was convinced of the correctness of its actions, it would not be deterred by a letter.

              • The IRS, the FBI and the CIA can write nice, “non-threatening” letters too. A critical letter from one Senator,much less 26, is inherently threatening, even if it is accompanied by candy and flowers.

                This was a disgraceful suck-up effort to these Senators’ pro-abortion supporters and campaign givers, just as Bill Frist and Tom DeLay’s posturing over Terri Schiavo was disgraceful pandering to pro-life forces. Either way, it’s dead wrong.

                When a U.S. Senator, or a President, makes a public statement or sends a letter criticizing a private individual’s choice or a private organization’s choice, we are one more step closer to totalitarian government. It is profoundly troubling that so many citizens don’t mind such abuse of power as long as they agree with the position the Government is illicitly using its status to advance.

                • When a U.S. Senator, or a President, makes a public statement or sends a letter criticizing a private individual’s choice or a private organization’s choice, we are one more step closer to totalitarian government.

                  Jack, just to clarify: Are you saying that elected representatives should never publicly criticize any large corporation or non-profit?

                  • If they have engaged in criminal activity, the elected representatives should shut up, because the accused need a fair trial. If the organization is not breaking the law, then any commentary should be in the context of legitimate legislation. If an official wants to criticize an industry generally, that’s appropriate in the realm of policy. But otherwise…yes, I’m saying that elected officials are not elected to use their power to call down public criticism on private decisions. Ditto for the President. It’s irresponsible, and too prone to abuse. Talk to me when some meaningful insider trading legislation is passed. A Senator could easily manipulate stock prices and take sides in industry competition by selectively criticizing companies. A Senator could kill many thousands of dollars in charitable contributions by unfair criticism of a charity. Do you trust public officials to not use the thraet of public condemnation to shake down specific companies for campaign donations? I don’t.

                    I may have to do a whole post on this wjole subject. I’m very surprised so many people thing it could possibly be an appropriate use of government power.

                • In a totalitarian government, public officials should not make suggestions as to how private individuals should act because every suggestion would be interpreted as a demand. For example, Augustus Caesar lamented that he could not support his friend who was on trial without prejudicing the case. In a democratic country,this should not be a problem because public officials cannot demand that we not do what we have a right to do (or do what we have a right not to do). They can only plead, suggest, cajole, etc. I don’t see the letter as a step towards totalitarianism but rather a sign that we live in a free society. In a totalitarian country, no letter would have been necessary, the Senators would have just called up Ms. Brinker and told her what to do.

                  Maybe I missed it, but I really don’t think there was a subtext of “do what we say, or else” in the letter, the way there would be if a revenue agency kindly asked me to pay my taxes

                  • So if a democratic body acts like a totalitarian body, that’s OK because it’s not a totalitarian body? Isn’t that the argument the government gives to civil libertarians when it enacts warrantless spying on citizens—it’s OK, because we’re not totalitarians?

                    • The difference is that in a democratic body, the requests can be ignored. In a totalitarian country, they cannot. That makes the acts different.

                • Also, though my argument stands without this point, this issue was political before the Senators got involved. SGK claimed that the reason they were no longer supporting PP because PP was under a Congressional investigation. This implies that they made their decision on the basis that the government did not support PP or had some reason to believe that PP was doing something improper. If this is the reason given, why can’t some members of the government state that they support PP and do not think it has done anything improper?

                  • The Senators are welcome to criticize the Congressional investigation. I wrote that the investigation excuse was lame, but the fact is—again—that NOT supporting a politically polarizing organization is not a political statement, but the opposite of a political statement. The Senators are demanding that a private organization support a particular social and moral stand—and you think that’s appropriate?

                    • I don’t see the demand. A demand usually implies that you are telling someone what to do. The Senators just asked SGK to reconsider their decision. Had they threatened to punish SGK if they did not reverse course, or had they even said that the “demanded” or “required” SGK to do so, then I would agree that they overstepped their authority. SGK was free to ignore them.

                      I disagree that the withdrawal of support is not a political statement. If I support an organization and then publicly withdraw my support, it implies that I disagree with what that organization is doing. There may be another reason (maybe I can’t afford to support the organization anymore), but if there is, I should make it clear. For example, if Bill Clinton decided to publicly leave the Democratic party, he would be making a political statement whether he wanted to or not. If he said, “Oh no, this isn’t political, it’s just a retreat to neutrality.”, people wouldn’t believe him.

  7. Would I ever like to use this article to beat a few people over the head with, Jack, (because you said it so well!) but I’d hate to bring the hoards over here. I’ll just read it and enjoy it again 😀

  8. I’m with you on this,Jack. We all know that if an org receives state funds the state calls the shots. Now we have those who think a private charity should toe some political line? Abortion rights is a hot potato and it always brings out the rabid in people. Komen must have been giving a sizable amount to PP to get this reaction. If I had known my funds to Komen went to PP I would simply have stopped giving. If people don’t like those funds being cut,stop giving.
    Eric,these days where “hate speech” is considered a crime how can you say,”I don’t know what you mean about “hate attacks”. Did anyone physically attack anybody over the defunding? There was heated rhetoric, but there generally is about anything controversial.”

    • How do you define “hate speech”? Does saying that you disagree strongly with a charity’s decision, that you wish they would reverse it and that you will not donate to them unless they do so constitute hate speech?

      • Sorry Eric. I thought you were among those who believe hate speech is whatever you define it as. What you said in answer to me is not hate speech as far as I can tell but you never know how someone else will take it. I think hate speech is used to try and legally deprive people of freedom of speech and is a crock personally but when it used to threaten to destroy an individual or organization,whatever form that may take,then it crosses the line. Planned Parenthood is big enough,powerful enough to squash those who oppose them.

          • From what I have seen online, PP does not offer its own mammograms but instead refers women to where they can get one. I don’t know whether all Planned Parenthood branches are like this, but the central Texas one claims that it can help a woman get a free mammogram (see http://www.plannedparenthood.org/ppwaco/BCCS%20Komen-28753.htm). Is this an efficient use of SKG’s donations? I don’t know, but sometimes having a central agency where women can be referred to agencies that are more specialized is a good thing. I have volunteered for an organization that, in part, referred people to other agencies that were more specialized but that the client might not have heard of. I like to think that we were helpful.

            In any case, if SGK thought that PP was not using their funds efficiently, they needed to say so from the beginning. They might have got more support for their decision if they had.

          • The support was justified, because PP does do breast exams. The support was not mandatory. And the ending of support was not some kind of crime against women and humanity, as it was characterized.

  9. By what rule, right or principle do those not involved with the management of an operating foundation presume to tell that foundation’s leadership who and what it should support, and how it should pursue its mission?

    The right to state opinions about how Komen should pursue its mission, is found in the first amendment of the Constitution.

    • It’s ‘not the right to state opinions’ that is in question here, but outsiders using intimidation to push the organization to change it’s position, and that is not guaranteed in the First Amendment. ‘Freedom of speech’ not ‘freedom to bully and hector’.

      Stating an opinion is not the same as launching a public campaign to smear them, and encouraging others to join in.

    • Stating opinions in the form of abuse and threats is a constitutional right to a point, but it is wrong, and the colloquial term “you have no right”…which is the kind of right I was, ambiguously, I admit, referring to…means, “you have no business/reason/justification.” You have no right to tell demand that I run my business a certain way, though your Right to over-step your legitimate role and try to pressure me via public attacks to run it the way you want is indeed protected.

      That’s the best argument anyone can come up with? The Constitution SAYS we can be unfair and coercive, so we will?

  10. Finally, returning to the 26 Senators: I thought the 2005 Republican Congress’s efforts to attempts to pressure the husband of Terri Schiavo to keep her in a vegetative existence was the most despicable, arrogant and revolting abuse of legislative power I had ever seen, and I suppose it still is the champion. But for more than a fourth of the U.S. Senate to presume to tell a non profit organization how it should spend over a half-million dollars as it seeks to cure breast cancer, and to try to turn its constituents against a foundation that not only has an admirable mission but that also has pursued that mission admirably, is a close second. This is an outrageous abuse of power, and this time, it’s all Democrats (well, 25 Democrats and Bernie Sanders, a socialist), proving once again that when stupidity and bad ethics are involved, the only difference between Blue and Red elected officials is opportunity.

    In the Schiavo case, it was a bipartisan effort, with Democrats like Harry Reid, Jesse Jackson, Jr., and Paul Kanjorski joining in the effort.

      • Besides, Harry and Jesse Jr. don’t count, because they have no principles.

        Harry was at the time the Minority Leader, so he would get more blame than Kanjorski or Jackson. And while Kanjorski and Jackson do not have the same type of responsibility as Reid or Frist, they are responsible for their own participation in the matter.

  11. Think about this, I donated, participated in & fund-raised on behalf of SKG’s ‘Race for the Cure’ BECAUSE it helped support PP. That was my main reason for supporting them. When they announced that they were stopping I voiced to them my unhappiness with that decision & let it be known that I would no longer work with/for them as long as that policy remained in place. How is this unethical. They changed the rules of the game, so to speak.

    • What do mean, they changed the rules of the game? You were supporting a cancer cure effort for reasons having nothing to do with curing cancer. The rules for a non-profit are already clear—they have a mission, and they are ethically obligated to support it as they see as the most effective way to do so. Giving support to an organization that is 1) political and 2) not central to cancer research is NOT part of their mission. You and others are attempting to hi-jack the mission and purpose of an apolitical charity to bolster support for abortion. Wrong.

      Coercive. Abusive. Unfair.

  12. Just another case of money trumping morality. Planned Parenthood’s political allies had the money. The Komen people didn’t have the moral courage to stand up against them. I’m surprised they lasted two days before abjectly flopping on their backs.

  13. People don’t donate to groups like this to actually accomplish the mission (better treatments for breast cancer). They donate to it because it is the trendy thing to do. When I look up Komen’s foundation, I can’t even find reliable figures on how much they spend on research. I come up with from 4-34% depending on the source’s definition of ‘research’. Their biggest expenditure in all cases is plastering Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure everywhere. They are an ‘awareness’ raising organization. By dropping funding for Planned Parenthood (which neither I nor anyone else thinks of as a breast cancer awareness organization), they have REALLY raised awareness of their cause. Mission accomplished.

  14. Late but just FYI, Jack. Planned Parenthood has my support — regardless of any other pros or cons — because they fill an essential niche no other organization does: They are a “safe haven” for HIV testing. Some people can walk into a city or county health department clinic for a test that (even in the thought of it) carries with it multiple stigma, disgrace, humiliation and at the very least, impersonal treatment in a fish-bowl setting. While, in truth, city clinics or gay-sponsored test sites may be the best places to go for accurate, efficient and even friendly HIV and STD testing, these environments or fear of them keep many from getting tested at all. (even if it’s just an excuse!) — After 15 years working on a national HIV crisis line, referring anywhere from 12 to 50 callers a week for testing, I know enough to suggest Planned Parenthood as an option if not a primary choice to all children — 12 and up, yes, they have legitimate reasons for testing –, teens unless they request a gay-friendly site, girls and women, older folks, the shy and the reluctant.

    PP is worth preserving, however much you decry anything else they do.

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