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Day One: Pink Ribbons in a twist February 1, 2012

Posted by caradox in Progressive Politics.
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What a day! The response everywhere to the decision of Komen for the Cure’s national office to drop Planned Parenthood from its grant program has been incredible. I’m so heartened by this community of people.

The big news is that donations have poured in to Planned Parenthood — over $400,000 in 24 hours. That’s a great start in not just closing the “Komen gap” but going right past it, giving Planned Parenthood the ability to deliver even more care services.

Meanwhile, Komen for the Cure is now under a microscope that will not go away any time soon. With people looking at Komen, deeper concerns are becoming public, like the amount of donor’s money spent in litigation against other small charities and how little money Komen actually puts toward research – rather than administrative and fundraising expenses as Alicia Staley describes here.

Pushback isn’t  just coming from the outside community. Komen for the Cure’s Connecticut chapter told WaPo’s Ezra Klein how “frustrated” they are following the national office’s decision, while the Denver affiliate has already asked for and gotten an exemption to keep their grant program with Planned Parenthood.

24 hours in, the question is whether Komen for the Cure has irreparably damaged their brand, or will rethink and find a way to resolve their mounting PR crisis. It would now require fixing their Planned Parenthood relationship and addressing concerns about their leadership, mission and use of donor funds.

There’s a lot at play here. The most immediate is to put people first and make sure that access to screenings is preserved. Even better, with people paying attention, is to turn this into something that helps even more with greater support for the work that Planned Parenthood does through their screenings and prevention services.

Yes, there’s an even bigger problem: this ongoing battle for access to affordable healthcare in America and the siege — I’ve got no other word for it now that things have become a daily battle with personhood laws and candidates who think contraception is a crime — over reproductive care. That’s a post for another day. Right now, stay focused and stay fighting. This is day one.

Don’t forget to check out the list of actions. Make a call, send a note, make some noise. It’s having an impact.

Fight on!

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