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Countering Komen’s BS: Letters to the foundation

After reading TBogg’s blog today on the Komen sellout, my friend Pedinska wrote a letter to Susan G Komen For the Cure to express her outrage. The non-response response from the foundation and Pedinska’s counter-response get straight to the heart of the problem.

Will Planned Parenthood be the next ACORN?

Pedinska to Komen:

To whom it may concern,

I agree with the following statement from a post at FireDogLake blog:

“The Pink Badge of Cowardice”

By: TBogg Tuesday January 31, 2012 5:12 pm

“I have to say that killing women with breast cancer before they might consider abortion sometime in their lives is one way to eliminate a woman’s right to choose.”

I am astonished that an organization supposedly built on women’s health would choose to punish another organization with the same goals.

Concurrent with FDL’s recommendation, the money I would have directed to the Komen Foundation has now been redirected to Planned Parenthood in the form of an Honorary Donation in the name of Karen Handel, your Senior Vice President for policy, a self-declared enemy of Planned Parenthood, one of the only organizations left that still serve the needs of women who can’t afford health care anywhere else.

I am also throwing all my pink ribbon wear into the trash – I’m not even going to donate them since I don’t want anyone advertising for an organization that is so fickle in its commitment to women. And you’ll see me picketing, along with my pro-choice friends, at every single Komen event in the area as well. I want women to know that your organization permits it’s leaders to politically influence the care of women everywhere, but especially the care of women who have no political power at all.

I am furious and I am going to make sure that every woman I know is aware of what you are doing.

Komen to Pedinska:

Hi Pedinska,

We’d like to take this time to clarify the issue about our community-based granting programs.

Though Susan G. Komen for the Cure has changed its funding criteria, the change does not affect the Columbus Affiliate’s ability to provide vital breast health services for uninsured and under-served men and women in Central and Southeastern Ohio. In 2011, thanks to your donations and support, we provided $1.5 million to support local breast cancer education, screening and treatment services in our community. Our commitment has always been and continues to be to support uninsured and under-insured men and women and we will continue to do so through these grantees.

Our Affiliate serves local men and women. Susan G. Komen for the Cure on a national level has recently adopted criteria that bars grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities.

We review our grant programs on an ongoing basis to ensure that we are meeting the highest standards and achieving maximum impact for our donors’ dollars. We have always had safeguards in place to terminate grants to organizations for financial or administrative improprieties, loss of federal or state funding, or changes to their tax-exempt status. Going forward, if we learn that an applicant or its affiliates are under formal investigation for financial or administrative improprieties by local, state or federal authorities, the grant will be terminated and the organization will be ineligible for grants. An organization may regain its eligibility once the investigation is concluded and the organization and its affiliates are cleared of any wrongdoing.

The people we serve are our highest priority in everything we do. Nationally, Komen affiliates were able to invest $93 million in community health programs. These programs provided 700,000 mammograms, saving countless lives.

Feel free to contact us with any further concerns.


Becca Thomas
Director of Communications
Susan G. Komen for the Cure Columbus Affiliate
929 Eastwind Drive, Suite 211
Westerville, OH 43081
614-297-8155 ext. 202

Register today for the 20th Annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure on May 19, 2012!

Pedinska to Komen:

Ms. Thomas,

“Going forward, if we learn that an applicant or its affiliates are under formal investigation for financial or administrative improprieties by local, state or federal authorities, the grant will be terminated and the organization will be ineligible for grants.”

So, like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland your organization enacts the sentence first, is that how you function? Really??

The investigations in Congress are politically motivated.

They were instigated under pressure from a pro-life organization, Americans United for Life. The fact that you are so eager to defund PP, a group that has historically provided services for poor women, solely on the basis of such politically motivated witch hunts – no need for proof of wrongdoing of any kind – tells me that your organization puts politics above the needs of women. And right-wing politics at that. That’s fine, but your group should at least be honest about it instead of hiding it behind a punishment first, findings second rationalization that is thin, dishonest and misleading.

I stand by my initial letter and will continue to educate women everywhere about the kinds of actions your organization is taking. When you will only support women through groups who remove their ability to choose what is best for their own bodies, you have removed yourself from the realm of the apolitical and that has consequences.

Thank you for your response. It is exactly what I anticipated.


p.s. my communications with you, including your responses, are being shared with a large group of men and women who I know have supported your organization in the past.

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