Why I am no longer pink

At a meeting this weekend a person I respect quite a bit asked why did people get so involved in the Komen/Planned Parenthood clash this week. There were many petitions both ways. So why now? This is my answer to her on my personal reason why I am no longer supporting the Komen foundation.

I watched the story unfold and read a lot of very strong opinions on the subject on both sides following the articles in the paper. One supporter of Komen’s decision to cut of funding said something that I found to be correct and directly to the point for me. They said it was the Komen’s money and they should do with it what they wished.  That is true in my opinion. Once I give money to an organization, I am trusting them to administrator it with the same criteria in the past which was why I choose to donate to them. I tend to be very picky on who I donate money to, anyway. Researching them on charity search engine, looking at what they have accomplished and what percentage goes to administrative.  So that is why the writer’s comment really made me think. I always buy the pink ribbon products and also sponsor my friends who do the fund-raisers for the pink events.  This amount is trivial to the overall budget of the Komen foundation, of course,but this little contribution is my part. So if I am unhappy with how an organization is being run it is easier for me to switch to some other organization.  This is not the case once I am dead and they have the more significant amount left in my will. This actually was my concern.

The Komen foundation hired Karen Handel as a Senior Vice President.  She has always stated she is pro-life and does not support Planned Parenthood. She never has hidden her personal beliefs in this manner. Now it seems like this whole issue is being linked to her specifically,  calling for her termination. However, Komen President Elizabeth Thompson and CEO  Nancy Brinker knew how strong her personal beliefs were when she was hired. Now some groups are suggesting that Thompson apparently knew that Planned Parenthood was the only organization affected by the new rules. So it came down to for me was the organization’s future. Is this organization in the future likely to be more concerned about women’s overall health or more concerned with their personal beliefs?  Instead of worrying about which it is, I will just move my money to another organization.  Not supporting the Komen foundation does not mean you don’t support education, testing and hopefully the curing of breast cancer. They do not own the color pink nor the concern for breast cancer.

In Virginia there is an organization known as Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation (VBCF) which several of my friends donate to.  Their slogan Educate, Advocate, Eradicate best exemplifies VBCF’s strategy in the battle against this epidemic. They are the people who brought the state the pink breast cancer license plates.

However, I am giving my money to Planned Parenthood. The reason is they are concerned for all women’s health issues and I have had friends die from female issues/cancers related to other areas than breast. They also help the poor get screenings, advice and help. My mother ran a health center for over 30 years which specifically targeted the underserved. This is something I have seen first hand and you really can not relate to it if you are able to drive to your doctor hand them your insurance card and say I don’t feel well.  That is not an option for a lot of people. So that is why I have decided to switch my donations to Planned Parenthood. Also I am hoping that Planned Parenthood will get enough of funding to keep their proposed mobile van for mammograms and screenings. I believe especially when dealing with the undeserved you can help more if you can get to them.

Again my little donations won’t even be noticed by the Komen foundation. Even if some of my friends decide to change it is likely not to be noticed.  It is worth noting that Planned Parenthood has seen a significant increase in donations as well at the Komen foundation has raised a significant amount from the anti-abortion people.  So maybe people taking sides has helped both organizations. I just know that I feel better about my choice now that this has come to light.

Angie that is the best explanation I can give you from my personal point of view.


21 thoughts on “Why I am no longer pink

  1. Carole, I am in disagreement with your last line. People taking sides plays into the hands ot politicians. Politicizing only yeilds short term gain for this cause.. This is a failure on the part of both organizations imo.. Sad really.

    This IS an issue for me after losing my mother 8-11-94 from something easily detectable via mammogram. Nobody should be denied this basic test and merging it with a pro or anti whatever movement is divisive and politically driven.

    1. Turbo,

      I think it is sad that so many things are being effected by our political environment. I guess I was trying to look at the sad situation as the “glass half full” view. But it could also take the “glass half empty” where the people giving to the Komen foundation because they cut off funding will only give once and may not stay and the people who stopped giving, because of this, will either switch to another non-cancer organization or in this economy stop donating all together. That is why I listed the other breast cancer group in Va.

      I am very sorry about your mother.

  2. It seems pretty silly to me to donate to an organization because it, in turn, gives money to another. Just give the money to the organization you want to have the money, and cut out the overhead of the first organization. In fact, I would say that being a funnel organization is a reason NOT to donate, since the double overhead is a waste.

    1. Warren,

      Many people give to organizations that over see the funds to various smaller agencys or studies that could not raise the money on their own. For example a graduate student might be doing research on an idea to cure some form of cancer. That student could not raise the money on his own but he can apply for a grant . If his research turned to be correct and he solved that problem wouldn’t it be worth it then.

      Look how much the United Way raises each year is a good example. However, that said I tend to support the agencys directly usually.

        1. I agree with you that if you want Peter to have some money, it really is silly to give it to Paul and hope he’ll give it to Peter. Other than that, I know of nothing else I would agree with you about.

        1. The sad fact is that charitable giving is down and this helps people decide to say no to another charity.

          I challenge people to understand how women lacking the resources yet in need of diagnosis feel about this, unlike women like my mother who could easily afford mammography screening but due to a variety of reasons was misdiagnosed.. There is a busy market for specialized healthcare that so many people enjoying good health take for granted until they feel a lump that was not there before. Komen opened doors for more people who previously could not access the technology needed for early diagnosis.. But what does this politicization of Komen, apparently from the inside, do to further their cause? I felt sad to read the reports of how this charity has been beat down by political activism which imo has no business plying their trade by manipulating worthy charities..

          Komen was founded by people who wanted to give something.. to do what we they could to alleviate some womens suffering. Political activists who twisted this charity and shook it up have no shame and that is most disappointing.

          1. Mr. Cohen, I met your mom on quite a few occaisons. She was a beautiful intelligent woman and I’m sure you are still missing her. SGK opened the door to this when they allowed a few people on their board to politicize who they should or should not give grants. I was stunned to learn today that Komen is partnering with Discount
            Gun Sales, a Seattle distributor, to market a pink handgun. Because nothing says “pro-life” like a Walther P-22 Hope Edition. Go figure.

          2. Fran, I have no problems with SGK raising awareness and funds through gun sales. With out without pink handguns, there is a market. I buy and sell guns for hunting and target shooting purely for fun, in fact, bought a pink camo Remington rifle for my wife just a few months ago. It is a constitutionally protected right to buy firearms and with firearms sales increasing, SGK is smart to channel some of those dollars to their organization. There is nothing wrong with that.

            We can agree that SGK brought a few people with ulterior motives on thier board. They should keep politics out of saving tata’s..

            xoxo, Jim 🙂

          3. James, there is no reply button on Frans or your last comments so I’ll do it here and see if it takes. I agree whole hearted with yur last comment about the constitutionally protected protected right to keep and bare arms.

  3. I agree with Turbo. I have no concern with them partnering to sale the pink guns. The pink guns have been around a long time this is nothing new. To stop that would be to push someones political views of another area into this. That is why I was against their restricting funding on their other political beliefs in this in the first place.

    I am a gun owner and I considered buying one of the pink guns because I like pink. However, I choose another model because of the gun. I have nothing against them.

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