Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Komen for the Cure: BAD Decision

Pictured above (Copyright The Christian Science Monitor) is arch-conservative Republican Karen Handel, failed candidate for Governor of Georgia, with her chief political crony, Sarah Palin.  The voters dumped Handel in the primary in 2010, and a few months later she landed a job as senior vice president of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the largest breast cancer charity on earth.

Handel’s ultra-conservative pal, Florida Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns, has launched a congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood, seeking to determine if public money was improperly spent on abortions.

In Handel’s new role with Komen, she managed to get a new rule passed saying Komen would not contribute to organizations which are under investigation by state, local, or federal authorities.  And yesterday, it was made public (by the Associated Press) that Handel had succeeded with her new rule in immediately cutting Komen funds to Planned Parenthood.

The total money involved is in the hundreds of thousands over the past five years, and that money has provided nearly 170 thousand clinical breast exams to low-income and uninsured women.

But because Handel and Stearns and their ilk have made it their mission in life to end Roe v. Wade, the clinical breast exams will no longer be funded by Komen.

Like me, you probably thought Komen was in the business of helping eradicate breast cancer, but now we find out Komen is in the business of foisting its narrow agenda on the public.

A suggestion, if I may: please stop giving any support, publicity, or money to the Komen people.  Instead, find a LOCAL breast cancer charity, and give them your money and your support.  There are many in Wisconsin; here in Madison I’d suggest you donate to the UW Carbone Cancer Center, which not only treats women with the dread disease, but through the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research may actually find a cure for the disease.

No pink ribbons, no political agenda.  Cancer doesn’t care about your politics.  Please give generously, but not to Komen.


  1. Wow, This all sounds very david versus goliath! However what's right is right I've always preferred and ask others to donate locally To make a difference, If for no other reason than to skip past some of the corporate level waste, and to get the money more directly in the hands of someone who is really hungry to use it for the right cause.

  2. I have to somewhat disagree. The research efforts against disease are international and require coordination. That is why I hope that money raised goes in more than one direction, including local. What is irritating is the history of Komen in this instance padding its executive suite with dogma zealots. There is all this (necessary) attention to corporate pay, but there should be similar attention to the salaries of non-profits' executives.