Women and progressives woke up this week to the shocking news that the Susan G. Komen Foundation was pulling its’ funding from Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings. However by weeks end, amid a hailstorm of negative press and public outrage, the Komen Foundation reinstated their Planned Parenthood funding with a meek apology.
The question is should the progressive community really have been shocked by this latest turn from the Komen Foundation? Cancer research should not be a political issue, yet the rightwing has waged a fairly successful war on reproductive rights (read women’s rights) over the last year and Planned Parenthood is squarely in their sights. The Komen foundation has moved further and further off point from their mission statement and has aligned their “brand” with corporate dollars. The Komen Foundation seems more concerned with fundraising than with patient care or research.
Looking at some of the corporate sponsors over the last year for the Komen Foundation, there is an alarming trend toward slapping a pink ribbon on just about anything to make a buck. Kentucky Fried Chicken, Ford, the National Football League (and Major League Baseball) Yoplait etc. This blatant pandering, in addition to reports of lobbying efforts to limit research into possible environmental links to breast cancer by Komen, has called into question the organization’s integrity and commitment to its’ mission statement.
This is the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s stated mission "to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all and energizing science to find the cures."
Obviously the current leadership is more interested in playing politics and ensuring their own salaries then actually finding a cure for breast cancer. New leadership is needed to refocus the organization away from the political and back to the needs of cancer patients and survivors as well as the ongoing research for a cure.
Until a time when the Komen Foundation can demonstrate a recommitment to its’ mission statement, I pledge my financial support to organizations like the Avon Walk and Planned Parenthood.
To that end I created a petition to keep the pressure on the Susan G. Komen Foundation, to refocus on their mission statement. With high visibility comes responsibility.
If you agree please sign and pass on.