Full disclosure, I am a pro-choice woman who has used Planned Parenthood services in the past. I have been a Komen supporter for many years; donating, raising funds and walking in the 3-Day for the Cure. In the last 3-4 years, I have raised and donated over $10,000 for them. Komen has been a huge part of my life and right now I feel like I’m in a relationship that’s breaking up.
I have read as much about this entire situation as I can find, and the more I read the more disappointed I get. Here are some of the better articles I’ve found, if I’m missing anything you think I should read, please leave a comment with a link, I would really appreciate it.
The Accidental Rebranding of Komen for the Cure – Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog
Susan G. Komen Top Officials Resign As Backlash Gains Steam – Huffington Post
After reading and watching everything, I’m disappointed in their decision to withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood, and I’m just as disappointed in the way they’ve handled themselves since that decision was announced. They were silent, they made vague statements, and then they backtracked. Because of this, I can’t help but feel like they aren’t being honest. Why not put out press releases and make a formal statement if everything was above board? Why does it seem like more than a coincidence that Karen Handel was hired, then a new policy was implemented about not funding organizations that are being investigated, and then Planned Parenthood is investigated and their tie to Komen is cut. My gut tells me that something is going on, and Komen isn’t telling.
If Komen communicated with everyone about what was going on and were honest about it, I honestly don’t think I’d feel this disappointed. I would certainly be disappointed about their decision, but I would have respected them for being forthcoming. It’s certainly their right to decide where their grant dollars go. But don’t make those decisions based on politics and personal extremist ideologies. So now, they’ve lost my trust. They’ve led me to believe that they’re the kind of organization that allows the personal ideologies of their employees to dictate how they do business. And I can’t dedicate as much of myself as I have been to an organization that I don’t trust.
So at this point, I’ve made the decision to find another breast cancer organization to support. As of this point, I’m done with Komen. I’ve signed up to crew the Boston 3-Day and walk the San Diego 3-Day, but I won’t be participating in either. I am so grateful for my 3-Day family and I will always treasure my experiences and the friends I’ve made. This isn’t a decision I made lightly, and it’s a decision that makes me incredibly sad. I’m grateful for all that Komen has done in the past 30 years for women and men around the world, but sometimes change is needed. I’m not done supporting the fight against breast cancer, I just won’t be doing it with Komen.
So that’s all I have to say… for now. If Komen fesses up and reverses their decision, I would love to support them again with a clear conscious.
Update 2/3/12 -Komen made a statement today in which they reversed their decision to fund Planned Parenthood and they said they would revise their new policy, “We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.”
For me, I think it’s wonderful that Planned Parenthood will continue to get funding, at least for now, from Komen. And while I think it’s great that Komen has changed their position, I don’t think they’ve done it for the right reasons. I think they’re backtracking in hopes that they gain back the followers they lost. And now, all I think they’ve done is pissed off both sides. I’ve been asked if this changes my position and if I’ll now support Komen again, and the answer is no. I’m glad they’ve reversed their decision but I still don’t trust them.