Take Back the Pink

I doubt you could have missed it by now, but just in case; Tuesday evening the story broke that the Susan G Komen fund pulled support from Planned Parenthood across the US. Rumors abound as to why they did it.Some say it was politically motivated. Komen says it was because their policies changed and because Planned Parenthood is under investigation.

After a couple of days of sticking their head in the sand and hoping it would all blow over, Nancy Brinker, the founder of Susan G. Komen made this announcement:

“We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities”

Supporters of Planned parenthood were excited. A South Florida office of Planned Parenthood posted this on their Facebook wall:

“Thanks to YOU and people who care about women’s health, the Komen Foundation has reversed its decision…”

That post was later removed.

Although people applauded the apparent reversal of the decision, the fact remains that Komen only changed the qualifications for the next round of grants. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will continue to fund Planned Parenthood.

What about the social backlash?
For me, it started with a flood of requests to join causes on Facebook like “Komen can kiss my mammogram“, started by Alison Fine, supporting Planned Parenthood to replace the lost funding.

Then, as news spread, people started producing graphics representing how they felt about it and this collaborative Pinboard was created by Beth Kanter allowing others to add “pins” to the board about the issue as well.

Donations flooded into Planned Parenthood to the tune of over $650,000 in 24 hours, effectively replacing what Komen’s grant would have been.

New York Mayor Bloomberg plans to match up to $250,000 in donations to Planned Parenthood in his own response to the decision.

Petitions started circulating from Moveon, the Breast Cancer Action Network, MomsRising and others to protest the change in policy.

3 of Komen’s top executives quit in protest.

In this screenshot of a report by analytics firm Attensity the sentiment about Susan G Komen is pretty darn clear. While up to now it was largely neutral according to this post on the Attensity blog, things have changed dramatically. Read the post there for Attensity’s take on the matter.

Oh let’s just move on shall we?

In the official statement Brinker also said she hoped people would now move on. I’ll just bet she does.

“We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics — anyone’s politics.”

Um, yeah, let’s not.
Whatever your politics, or how you feel about hot button topics like abortion, this is not about abortion. Abortion makes up only 3% of what Planned Parenthood does. This is about the right for a woman to get screening services that could save her life. It’s about making donations to an organization and knowing where your money is going. It’s also about showing organizations who do not believe in transparency that WE DO.

While millions of people are watching the superbowl on Sunday, @KomenfortheCurehas plans to use the tag #Supercure on Twitter during the event. (The NFL is/was a major sponsor of Komen). Please help spread the word about the counter-campaign. Here’s a link to share ways to take action. Please share it with your friends. bit.ly/takebackthepink

Share these links in your #takebackthepink tweets:
Use these hashtags to show your support when you tweet

#takebackthePINK #SuperCure #Cancer Let’s show Susan G Komen that they need to LISTEN instead of making vague gestures and sticking their heads in the sand.

After the Super Bowl
This doesn’t end after Sunday. In addition to this effort, take a look at what the Breast Cancer Action has to say about the whole pink phenomenon. I haven’t bought pink ribbons for years. I donate to BCA and the Avon Foundation for Women because I can see where the money goes. Please. Think before you buy pink again. Think about how you can help support women (and men) who need these services through other channels.