What a disaster. The Komen Foundation backed down today from its decision earlier this week to join God’s Army,
rename itself Pray for the Cure, and defund Planned Parenthood. NYT: “The reversal comes in the face of an enormous furor over the decision and widespread complaints that the Komen foundation was tying breast cancer to the abortion issue.”
But the damage to its reputation may be irreparable. First, attention has focused on its religious right Board members who remade the organization into a right-wing political campaigner. Nation:
Because while you were shaking your head over pink Bibles and stem-cell futurology, Komen was hiring Karen Handel as senior vice president for public policy. Handel is not your typical philanthropy administrator. She is a Republican pol, a former Georgia secretary of state, who ran in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, with endorsements from Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and anti-immigrant finger-pointing Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. At that time she described herself as “staunchly and unequivocally pro-life,” opposed to stem cell research and a fan of crisis pregnancy centers—places that have repeatedly been shown to use scare tactics and misinformation to dissuade women from seeking abortions. She vowed to eliminate from the state budget pass-through grants to Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screenings.
Second, with impeccable timing comes Pink Ribbons, Inc., which argues that money, not health, may be even more fundamental to the group’s agenda than GOP talking points:
Komen should have stuck to fighting breast cancer rather than fighting against the right of women to control their own bodies.