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.