America’s largest breast cancer organization the Susan G. Komen Foundation is sustaining serious blowback from its decision to sever ties with Planned Parenthood. Though the foundation insists its a non-partisan non-profit, its new rule only targets Planned Parenthood based on the politically-motivated agenda of anti-choice Republican lawmakers has certainly jeopardized its neutrality.
Today on MSNBC, host Andrea Mitchell — herself a breast cancer survivor — also pointed out to Komen’s founder and former George W. Bush Ambassador Nancy Brinker that the move is pummeling the foundation’s brand. Brinker, however, insisted that the responses the foundation received were nothing but “very, very favorable”:
MITCHELL: What do you do about the fact that donors are pulling back. Some people would say that the anger that’s being expressed is going to hit you in the pocketbook. You have worked so hard to create a bipartisan organization. Look at your Facebook page. Your Facebook page has people cutting pink ribbons in half. Your branding is at stake.
BRINKER: Andrea, all I can tell you is that the responses we are getting are very, very favorable. People who have bothered to read the material, who have bothered to understand the issues — again we work for a mission, everyday of our lives.
A brief survey of the actual responses indicates that “favorable” must be Brinker’s coded way of saying “overwhelmingly negative.” As Mitchell noted, the Komen foundation’s Facebook page is riddled with disgust over the decision and promises to cease donations to the charity. “Shame shame shame,” reads one of the thousands of negative comments. Indeed numerous donors — including Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) — have pulled their support.
Even Komen’s own state affiliates are rebelling. The board president of Komen Connecticut promised to continue offering grants to Planned Parenthood and the executive director of the Los Angeles County chapter is resigning. In fact, the national foundation’s own top public health official resigned immediately after learning of the decision in December.
And now, 22 Democratic U.S. senators are sending a strongly worded letter urging Komen to reverse its “troubling decision” that “threatens to reduce access to necessary, life-saving services.” “It would be tragic if any woman — let alone thousands of women — lost access to these potentially life-saving screenings because of a politically motivated attack,” the letter states.
The New York Times reports that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) will donate $250,000 of his own money to Planned Parenthood in protest of the Komen Foundation’s decision.