Shame on Susan G. Komen

<p>I've participated in the 3-day Susan Komen Walks and have given money to friends who've walked and I won't do this again. The Komen folks have made a decision that's unfortunate with respect to Planned Parenthood. My mother died of breast cancer and I feel strongly about the importance of mammograms for early detection of breast cancer. (My mother never had a mammogram.) For an organization involved in raising money to fight breast cancer, it seems quite foolish to cut off funding for an organization that was actually providing breast cancer screening services for poor women. There are folks in Congress who are always complaining about Planned Parenthood--it's nothing new. I think the Komen folks miscalculated on the negative publicity they'd get from this decision.</p>

<p>Mayor Bloomberg is offering $250k in matching funds to Planned Parenthood to help make up for the Komen Fund loss of funds.</p>

<p>Shameful decision by Komen. I will never give them another penny and I made an additional donation to PP today as a show of my support.</p>

<p>Count me in the number of those who will not give a dime to Komen again. I will choose to fund Pink Ribbon Trailblazers, instead (local organization that raises money for mammograms for those who cannot afford them).</p>

<p>Are you serious, Razorsharp?? As a stage 4 colon cancer survivor I can assure you there is not nearly enough money given to cancer research.</p>

<p>I don't understand - why is Planned Parenthood involved in breast cancer screenings at all? I thought they were about...planned parenthood.</p>

<p>I think any time one charity starts spreading their funds around quite a bit, including to emotionally and politically charged organizations such as those that support (or exclude) abortion, it's bound to be an issue for them.</p>

<p>I also don't get why abortion trumps breast cancer for many of those posting here. It seems to me that ideally the two would be separated from each other since they have nothing to do with each other and that whether the charity supports or doesn't support abortion many people would decide they're doing enough good on the breast cancer side to still be worthy of supporting.</p>

<p>To put it another way - if there's a breast cancer charity that happens to not fund abortion clinics, would you automatically write them off your list of worthy charities? On the flip side, if there's a breast cancer charity that happens not to fund anti-abortion causes, would you automatically write them off your list of worthy charities? It doesn't make sense to me.</p>

<p>PP provides comprehensive women's reproductive health care to those who need it. Many women who would otherwise not be able to afford care get it from PP. Breast health is lumped in (no pun intended) with women's reproductive health ... I know our society seems to forget this, but breasts are intended to feed children.</p>

<p>To me it seems a divisive and political move. We need less of them at this time and place. The health of our children, women and men should be in the forefront. This sort of thing works as a dam. It is completely selfish. Too bad.</p>

<p>Okay, saying you're pro-choice does NOT mean you are pro-abortion. Pro-choicers just happen to believe that it is a woman's humanistic choice to do what she wants with her own body. In this respect, it's not okay for SGKFC to pull funding like this</p>

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Breast health is lumped in (no pun intended) with women's reproductive health ... I know our society seems to forget this, but breasts are intended to feed children.

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I'm aware of the latter, of course, but it still seems to me that breast cancer screening is quite removed from what PP is primarily trying to accomplish, especially when one considers the ages involved. If they're doing breast cancer screening then why not also support prostate and testicular cancer screenings in men (the other half of a 'Parent') or doesn't PP not do anything for men? Or maybe they do those screenings - I don't know.</p>

<p>Regardless, it's obviously a mistake to do much mixing of the charitable causes since it causes problems like this one. It still makes no sense to me to not give to a charity like this based on what they 'don't' do as opposed to what they 'do' do. If one takes a look at their current plan as it is today do you really think it's not worthy of your giving just because they happen to no longer spend their dollars in this one niche?</p>

<p>I'll certainly never give a dime to SGK, ever, and donated to Planned Parenthood as soon as I heard about the decision. Their "rule" about not giving money to organizations under investigation was adopted <em>after</em> the so-called investigation of PP began, for the express purpose of creating an excuse to stop the funding. As others pointed out today, it seems they haven't cut the money they give to Penn State, though! It's obvious that women's health, and screening for breast cancer, is not these people's genuine priority. Let them devote their time to anti-abortion organizations if that's what they really care about.</p>

<p>At least one of their senior executives -- Mollie Williams, formerly SGK's top public health official -- showed some integrity and resigned. See Top</a> Susan G. Komen Official Resigned Over Planned Parenthood Cave-In - Jeffrey Goldberg - Health - The Atlantic</p>

<p>SGK has been severely criticized in general for a long time for the extremely high salaries its executives take home, and for the relatively low percentage of contributions that are actually used for non-administrative purposes. A lot of people have had problems with them, and this will only make it worse. </p>

<p>It's been a very long time since I've seen anything happen that has enraged so many women (and men, too) as much as this. People see it as such a horrifying betrayal. It's disgusting.</p>

<p>not sure why you guys are so surprised... for years, Susan G Komen has been using the money donated to them to employ an army of lawyers that keep other people (including children) from raising money for cancer research Susan</a> G. Komen Foundation Elbows Out Charities Over Use Of The Word 'Cure'</p>

<p>I was clearly ignorant of that fact that PP provides breast cancer screenings to people and still don't really know why they do but I also don't have anything against them doing so. </p>

<p>I just don't see the big connection and disgust professed by people here.</p>

<p>Did anyone really ONLY donate to the org 'because' that org supported PP? If not, then why pull your support now? If you want to support PP then why not just donate to PP and if you want to support the breast cancer org then donate to them also. It seems that the people making the political statements and most concerned about the politics are the people who'll now no longer support them simply because they don't indirectly support PP for whatever reason.</p>

<p>Now, if the org hasn't been spending their funds appropriately, the administrators have been raking in huge salaries and perks, and if the org is directly supporting causes that have little to do with their prime mission or worse, politics (of either leaning), then I can understand not donating to them but that's a separate issue than the subject of this thread.</p>

<p>You're right, soccerguy. I've read that they have an extremely substantial annual litigation budget so they can sue other charities that use pink or use "the cure" in their name or fundraising materials -- even when they did so long before SGK even existed. The excuse, of course, is that there's a "likelihood of confusion," and God forbid anyone might contribute to some charity other than SGK. Understandable in the commercial world, but it's supposed to be a non-profit, and is supposed to be more interested in helping people than zealously guarding their turf.</p>

<p>As a patient of an advanced stage gynecological cancer (not breast cancer), I have to say there are a lot of us with women-only cancer that is not a breast cancer who feel that the whole breast cancer industry is sucking the oxygen out of the women's health ecosystem.</p>

<p>Please believe me when I say I do NOT begrudge the attention and funding the BC gets. Who knows, I may develop one in addition to another variety of female cancer that I already have.</p>

<p>However, there is just way too much commercialization about this pink ribbon industry to the point that it is starting to have an imbalance for the overall health issues of WOMEN that should include other high mortality cancers (mine for instance with five year survival rate less than half that of the breast cancer). </p>

<p>There are myriads of businesses that feed upon this pink zeal, and many of them are not even contributing much to the cure of the disease, but rather use it as a marketing ploy. Slap a pink ribbon on anything they peddle and watch the sale going up as if that really cures anything - of course, they do contribute pittance to the cause, but that's not their motivation - just a cover.</p>

<p>Perhaps this will be a catalyst for some real rethinking on where we send our charity money to. My personal vote is, not to BUY anything simply because it has pink ribbons on it, but rather direct our money to a carefully selected charity organization that does HONEST good job, not just a sham organization that spends most of their money for "administrative purposes" (we all know what this means: it's the full employment scheme).</p>

<p>Any thought I might have had on giving money to SGK is completely gone now between what I said above and this latest shameful act on their part. (actually, I was thinking about donating some to them).</p>

<p>PS. We are regular donors to PP, and we will increase the amount now.</p>

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not to BUY anything simply because it has pink ribbons on it

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Interesting point - will the people who have now switched away from SGK now boycott products that have the pink ribbon on them? And, will companies now cease associating with the SGK or at least no longer put the pink ribbon on their products for fear of lost sales? From the responses on this thread it seems that they will.</p>

<p>Gladgraddad, the reason PP provides breast cancer screening, is because it is many times a portal to adult health care for many, many young women. You go, as an intimidated 18 to 20 something for BC, and in the process, learn about pap smears, breast self exam, STDs, and have your first 'full' physical exam as an adult female, which I'd think would include a provider breast screening, perhaps the first a young woman might have. It is an educational process, and often serves those who don't have private insurance. It's part of the package. </p>

<p>I started my health care career as a PP volunteer, and look back on the experience with fondness. Good for those of you who support them. I decided to stop United Way this year, and support PP fully with the money, as these are difficult times.</p>

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There are folks in Congress who are always complaining about Planned Parenthood--it's nothing new.

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</p>

<p>True...that is why to pull funding because a conservative Republican is "investigating" PP seems dumb.</p>

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I decided to stop United Way this year, and support PP fully with the money

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I think a lot of people decide to stop supporting the big 'conglomerate' type of charity and give to more focused orgs to make sure their money is going to where they really want it to go. We've all heard to many stories of some of the big ones with the lavish salaries/perks and perhaps a smaller than expected portion of the funds actually going to causes the giver would like to support and sometimes going to obscure causes the giver might purposely not want to support.</p>

<p>Maybe SGK is getting too large and is also spreading the money to too many different orgs but perhaps not the ones some people would like them to go to.</p>

<p>It really seems to me that if people want charity money to go to PP then they should donate directly to PP in the first place rather than another charity under the assumption just a portion of that might go to PP although I guess I can understand that some people may have decided to give to SGK specifically knowing that a portion of the funds were going to PP if they're staunch advocates of PP as well as breast cancer fundraising. I used PP as just an example.</p>

<p>MODERATOR'S NOTE</p>

<p>This thread will remain open for now, but please refrain from making broad political generalizations, thus turning it into a political thread. There is room to discuss how non-for-profit organizations struggle with policy changes and how it might impact health care for the underinsured and non-insured, and ways we might be able to provide reproductive health care for women in the absence of these kinds of agencies and organizations. </p>

<p>If the thread becomes overtly political and becomes time-consuming for the moderators, it will be shut down.</p>