Fund Planned Parenthood

Feb22012

The Susan G. Komen Foundation has stopped funding Planned Parenthood because it’s under a Senate investigation. The investigation is spurious, another attempt to kneecap women’s reproductive rights, and all evidence points to a political motivation on the part of the foundation. I’m not happy with all the complaints about “Christians trying to keep women from having abortions.” For one thing, I’m a Christian and I’m all for reproductive rights. For another, PP does a lot more than abortions (only 3% of their funding goes to that), although for women in need that service can be crucial. It’s also too reductive to say, “Conservatives are trying to take away women’s right to their own bodies.” True conservatives want government out of people’s lives, not interfering with their choices. This comes down to one group of people trying to make it difficult for another group, mostly poor women, to not only make their own choices but to get free birth control and breast care. Poor women should not be put at risk because some political fathead has decided there’s a moral high ground he’d like to occupy to get votes.

But there is an upside to this: this decision has permanently damaged the foundation, and donations are pouring into Planned Parenthood. I think Planned Parenthood is always a good place to send your money, but right now, donating is voting, it’s a very public and tangible way to say, “I do not agree with what’s happening and I want to make sure the work Planned Parenthood does continues.” You don’t have to give a lot; Planned Parenthood is reporting not only the monetary amounts but the number of donors, so any gift is a vote. If you can’t afford to give (and believe me, I sympathize) sign a letter of support so your voice will still be heard.

I usually try to keep Argh from being political, although it’s no secret I’m an independent liberal. But I think this goes beyond politics. It’s time we took our country back from that 1% who seem to be running it and go back to taking care of those less fortunate who can’t buy political favor. Five or ten bucks to Planned Parenthood is one fine way of saying, “This stops here. This is not who we are.”

Argh will return to its usual frivolity tomorrow. Tonight, I feel the need to fight the good fight.

Filed in Deep Thoughts

85 Comments to 'Fund Planned Parenthood'

On February 3, 2012 at 12:22 am margaret said...

Dear Jenny , Once again you lure me out of lurkdom [where I am vey happy} to say:-

You are so right, there are ALWAYS people who think they “know what is best for us” meaning people They think are not as well educated or as morally “good” as they are. I hope your fans rally round. Can a Canadian sign the letter? I know I can send a donation. Keep on keeping us on our toes.

ps I hope you are starting to feel better healthwise.

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On February 3, 2012 at 12:24 am Jenny said...

Thank you, Margaret, I’m doing just fine. Indignation always makes my blood move faster (g). I don’t know if Canadians can sign, but I certainly hope so.

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On February 3, 2012 at 1:04 am Kay said...

I’ve been a lurker on your blog for a long time, and what great times I’ve had! So thanks for all the laughs, and thanks for this post, too. I’ve been a long-time supporter of Planned Parenthood, but today, I gave again.

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On February 3, 2012 at 2:44 am Clever Cherry said...

Planned Parenthood is a great organization that definetely deserves support. I will make my cash vote, small though it may be, happily.

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On February 3, 2012 at 2:45 am Clever Cherry said...

Planned Parenthood is a great organization that definetely deserves support. I will make my cash vote, small though it may be, happily.

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On February 3, 2012 at 2:46 am Julie said...

I put this up at my place too. So did my Seattle kid, as I am sure TONS of other bloggers have done too. Yay us!

Our local branch is run by some amazingly awesome folks (as they, no doubt, all are). For Solstice last year we gave “donations” as family gifts (similar to how The Bloggess does with her parents). We can’t afford more than a few bucks, but every dime counts! And when you do this in person, you get to see a beautiful smiling face across the counter, and they get to see you.

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On February 3, 2012 at 8:45 am Marilyn said...

I am furious at the crap that passes for righteousness. Planned Parenthood has provided thousands of women with the medical care they’ve needed but not been able to afford. I just sent a donation to Planned Parenthood and an email to the Susan Komen Foundation telling them I would no longer sponsor participants in their races and had sent the money to PP. Thanks for the link which made my small vote of support so easy.

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On February 3, 2012 at 9:01 am JulieB said...

Exactly. And, as John Scalzi pointed out on his page, if you _are_ truly taking the moral high ground, why hide it? http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/02/01/ebooks-for-breast-cancer-screening-and-education/ All or his profits of his e-books through Feb. 8 are going to PP.

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On February 3, 2012 at 8:57 am JulieB said...

Does anyone else feel like this is a “Divide and Conquer” tactic against women? I do.

It’s important to realize that SGK foundation has, as a major goal, promoted awareness, which is not necessarily research. (Their website does say some money goes toward research, but it is lumped together with the awareness money, so it’s impossible to tell how much) I was very frustrated, yesterday, when I tried to find facts on what percentage of several organizations’ funds go directly to research grants, and what percentage go to new studies versus old ones.

Planned Parenthood has been pretty forthcoming about their numbers and how our dollars are spent.

So, without trying to ramble, it’s possible to donate to cancer research without going through SGK. To paraphrase the poster on my FB page, a pink spatula does not cure cancer. A doctor can.

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On February 3, 2012 at 10:55 am JulieB said...

*screen for, not cure.

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On February 3, 2012 at 9:34 am Skylar said...

Here’s a great historical essay on Planned Parenthood.
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/11/14/111114fa_fact_lepore?currentPage=all

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On February 3, 2012 at 9:52 am Anne V said...

So here are some numbers:

SGK has raised >$2 billion. $180 million TOTAL has gone to research.

FY 09-10, $400 million in income ($35 million from investment, $365 million from donations), that money was distributed as follows: 21% research, 39 % public health education, 13% screening, 5.6% treatment, 10% fundraising, 11.3% general/admin costs. This is public information, available from their consolidated financials.

What you don’t find anywhere (and I probably only look for it because I worked at a nonprofit, and was shocked to find my purely admin role “re-classified” as education when the administrative percentages crept up to a point that might trip donor flags) is information on how much of the education/screening allocations are spent on admin personnel, or or the mailrooms, or postage for sending pink brochures to ob-gyn practices or marketing consultants, or the guys who fix the email and maintain the servers, or rent for the education portion of the organization – if you start recalculating by tracking and reporting that way? Admin and general costs go through the roof.

I also find remarkably offensive (well, it’s *all* pretty offensive at this point) SGK’s nonsense about Planned Parenthood not providing screening directly, that they’re merely passthrough because they refer people to radiology clinics. Just like every single non-radiologist in the country. 6400 mammogram referrals to radiologists after 170,000 clinical breast exams provided by PP clinicians. Y’all, it’s not even a GOOD lie. It assumes that no-one knows about the Google.

They might be too big to fail, but they are not too big to be called out on being creeps. No-one ever gets that big.

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On February 3, 2012 at 9:56 am JulieB said...

Thank you Anne V. This is what I was trying to find yesterday. So again; A vote _for_ Planned Parenthood is not a vote against breast cancer research. But a vote against SGK is speaking up for women.

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On February 3, 2012 at 10:23 am Gin said...

If anyone here is a SF reader, John Scalzi is donating his share (and I believe the publisher is also donating their share, but I’m not sure about that) of sales from certain of his ebooks for a limited time to Planned Parenthood. You can read about it at his blog, which is at whatever.scalzi.com

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On February 3, 2012 at 10:56 am JulieB said...

The link is 4 posts up. Wonderful essay.

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On February 3, 2012 at 10:28 am Jenny said...

This I did not know: Komen spent a million dollars to try to defeat the public option:
http://www.alternet.org/story/153989/6_things_you_need_to_know_about_the_komen_foundation_planned_parenthood_controversy/?page=2. I only have that from one source, but that’s absolutely chilling.

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On February 3, 2012 at 11:01 am JulieB said...

This is jaw-dropping. Also, to actively block research to study environmental toxins and possible links to breast cancer?!? WTF!!!

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On February 3, 2012 at 11:14 am JulieB said...

Oh. Sarah Palin is one of their VPs. Huh.

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On February 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm PG said...

Not Sarah Palin herself, but a candidate she supported for Georgia governor (who was also supported by a friendly acquaintance of mine): Karen Handel. As I recall, Handel ran heavily on defunding Planned Parenthood but lost the primary. It being a Georgia GOP primary, Handel was hurt by having at one time been a member of the Log Cabin Republicans.

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On February 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm JulieB said...

I know PG; was cross-eyed with irritation at that point and didn’t read carefully. I thought I had asked the powers-that-be- to delete the comment – I don’t want to muddy or inflame the issue with mis-information, but maybe I didn’t send that post correctly.

So, it was NOT Sarah Palin. Sorry about that. Thanks for the information on Handel though. Interesting stuff. :)

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On February 4, 2012 at 12:28 am Jenny said...

Oh, sorry, I thought I had deleted it. It’s been one of those days here at Squalor.

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On February 3, 2012 at 10:41 am Nicole said...

Thanks for spreading the word Jenny! I have been angry about this for a couple of days now. I have voted with my dollars and signed the petition. When I was without healthcare I was very grateful for the services Planned Parenthood provided and have a friend that credits them with her early detection of cancer that saved her life.

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On February 3, 2012 at 10:57 am Annie said...

SKG spends a million a year on legal fees going after smaller charities that use “the cure” in any of their materials. Seriously creepy bullies.

I can find you the cite, but Stephen Colbert called them out on it last night.

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On February 3, 2012 at 11:06 am Egads said...

Skylar, that was a nice, detailed article on Planned Parenthood and the history of women’s health care. I find myself alternating between indignation and dismay that these attacks on women’s health care keep occurring.

I had no idea until this happened that the Susan G. Komen foundation engaged in such questionable funding.

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On February 3, 2012 at 11:08 am Annie said...

People forget – non-profits are still *businesses*. They still have to (at least) break even, they are still run by people who have their own agendas and weak spots. And they’re far more sheltered from public scrutiny because they’re nonprofits – they exist to do good. Their own version of good.

Look at Three Cups of Tea and the Central Asia Institute. Admittedly, that’s one guy going for personal enrichment – but the CEO of Komen made >$450kast year, exclusive of benefits and expenses. That’s pretty decent money.

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On February 3, 2012 at 11:13 am oneoftheotherjennifers said...

Yoplait is one of Susan G Komen’s biggest corporate fundraisers, and they have always been big supporters of women’s health (think the “save the lids to save lives” campaign). If Yoplait pulls it’s support, Komen’s will have to reverse their decision. If you want to sign a petition urging Yoplait to do just that, go here:
http://sumofus.org/campaigns/yoplait/?akid=96.57353.2YmGUT&rd=1&sub=fwd&t=2
I think Komen’s is more likely to listen to the people with the big money. Same old story.

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On February 3, 2012 at 11:17 am JulieB said...

Done.

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On February 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm Jenny said...

Oh, excellent. Thank you.

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On February 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm Carol said...

Thanks for this link! I eat Yoplait pretty much daily, so I wrote to her and told her why I won’t be anymore unless things change.

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On February 3, 2012 at 11:39 am Tracey said...

Wash Post reporting thatvKomen has backed down, will let PP reapply for grants!!!!!

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On February 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm Jenny said...

Yes, they’ll let them reapply. That doesn’t mean they’ll fund them. They’re scrambling to staunch the self-inflicted wound, but I think it’s too late. Nobody believes them, and the information about how they spend their money is everywhere now. Even their press release sounds desperate.

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On February 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm Tracey said...

I agree; plus, in the non-profit health advocacy world (where I used to work), they have a bad rep for self-centeredness above and beyond the call of their mission. This black eye will allow a lot more of that info to come out. Their funding will probably recover over time, but their white-hat reputation in the larger world has taken a real hit.

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On February 3, 2012 at 11:43 am Kate George said...

I’m in too.

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On February 3, 2012 at 11:50 am Tracey said...

FYI, Komen founder Nancy Whatsits was a Bush Ranger in 2000 (collected $100K); and their new head of govt relations is a defeated GOP gubernatorial candidate from GA, who is actively anti-abortion. This was a planned set- up from the get-go, made more ridiculous by the fact that, as Jenny pointed out, only 3% of PP dollars go to abortion services. And while true conservatives may want govt off people’s backs and out of their bedrooms, suffice it to say that brand of conservatism hasn’t been welcomed in the GOP for lo these many years. (Jenny, of course, delete if you find all this too political — I know it’s notvArgh’s purpose, but I’m so mad right now I cld spit.)

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On February 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm Jenny said...

Honey, I opened the door when I posted this. Plus everything you’ve said is well documented all over the net.

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On February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm robena grant said...

Planned Parenthood gets my support, and my check.

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On February 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm chris said...

Thanks Jenny for posting this.

A lot of people and I mean millions. Need to know that Planned Parenthood does a huge range of services. I worked with abused and neglected children and they would do their physicals. Women that are homeless get physicals and exams and what not. Even if you have insurance you can walk in most of them to get strep tests, see a doctor.

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On February 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm Megan Coakley said...

I got my first birth control from Planned Parenthood, after I got pregnant and scheduled an abortion with them. I miscarried and didn’t have to undergo the procedure, and I never found myself in that situation again because they helped me. I don’t want to vilify all of SGK, because they’ve been huge in raising awareness, but I’m so psyched they got called on their bullshit. I love the Internet!

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On February 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm stephanie said...

What’s the internet emoticon for ‘oh dear,god’. maybe i should just stand in my corner and wonder WTH they were thinking. I don’t understand why people do stuff like this. [yes, i retyped that sentence a few times to remove the blatant profanity.]

As a woman this galls me. As a human with a working brain this galls me. And as someone who didn’t have any health insurance out of college and used PP for my annual health care because it was what I could afford I am very grateful they were there to help assure that I had some kind of basic care. Now I’m off to their site to see if they take paypal.

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On February 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm McB said...

Couple of things: First thank you for using the phrase “true conservatives.” I’ve had a bone to pick about the folks use use this label for a while. I have/had family members who were true conservatives. They were cautious thinkers and opposed change just for change’s sake. That’s not a bad thing. But they were thoughtful, caring people who understood that different is not evil, and that sometimes change is needed. The current crop have taken an honorable ideology and corrupted it, and I’d like to give them 40 lashes with a whip for that alone.

Second, your comment about donating being voting is, heh, right on the money. I read an article yesterday by a usually thoughtful columnist who doesn’t support what Komen did but doesn’t like the monetary backlash either. She thought it was a shame that people were choosing to withhold money from a group that does good work. But there are other groups out there doing the same work, so you can still support breast cancer research. And I think the shame is that people feel the only way they can be heard is the use of their wallets. And the bigger shame is that they are often right.

One of the good things coming out of this and other recent events is that it’s waking people up to the harm that can come from staying silent. What’s that saying about evil conquering when good men do nothing? It can happen anywhere if we don’t start taking a stand.

Oh, and a VA abortion law that prompted Virginia state Sen. Janet D. Howell to sponsor a bill to make men go through intense screening procedures before they can get a prescription for Viagra. It lost by only 2 votes. I’m so tempted to move to VA just so I can vote for this her.

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On February 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm T.W. Smith said...

The reaction to Nancy Brinker’s decision is absurd and is made to sound like the end of all healthcare options for women. Her decision has nothing to do with a woman getting “free birth control and breast care”. Planned Parenthood’s services will not end and Komen is not their only, nor their largest contributor. It has nothing to do with that evil 1% who has worked hard and earned their money. I don’t want their money, because I didn’t earn it. I AM one of the poor uninsured and I am grateful to Nancy Brinker for all she has done for women’s health. The Komen foundation provides other resources for women – ALL women. Plus, there are plenty of free clinics and other local community resources available to women. Some of those local community resources are funded by Komen and provide more comprehensive services. Plus, has anyone ever heard of Medicaid? Also, there are other non-profit organizations that will help fund medical costs. I received a list of them when I was in the hospital last summer because I couldn’t pay my bill. Planned Parenthood is the not the only way and no one is trying to stop a woman’s right to their own bodies. The good Komen provides is far greater than what Planned Parenthood provides.

Because of this decision, Democrats and liberals will overlook all the good Susan G. Komen has done worldwide just to support and protect Planned Parenthood. They will always blame a rich greedy Republican. I have never seen a poor Democrat sitting on Capitol Hill and they too can be greedy. If they weren’t they would all be living in three bedroom ranch style homes and driving beat up cars.

I resent any of my tax money going to Planned Parenthood. I will never give a penny to them since 3% of their services support the scraping and sucking out of arms, legs and beating hearts, but I will continue to support and encourage others to give to Susan G. Komen, even if it’s just a penny. Komen has provided invaluable services and education to millions of women of all financial means all over the world

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On February 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm Jenny said...

The problem is that this pretty much took the lid off the box. With everything that’s coming out about Komen–the percentage of their budget that actually goes to women’s health care, their funding of the anti-public-option people, their suing of smaller charities to stop them from using “for the cure” to protect their brand, and now their partnership with a handgun manufacturer–I’m convinced that there are better ways to fund these programs, not just PP but also breast cancer research. Plus, as I have recently learned, breast cancer research is the most well-funded of all the cancer researches. Lots of good places to give my money, but never Komen.

Which doesn’t mean I think everybody else should do what I’m doing. Everybody’s entitled to their own charities, that’s what I think.

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On February 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm Tracey said...

“Komen has provided invaluable services and education to millions of women of all financial means all over the world.” As does PP, but don’t let a little thing like facts stop you from thinking. I realize that 3% is a deal-buster for the anti-abortion people, and I’m not unsympathetic to many pro-life arguments – not that you need my benediction – but as an abortion rights supporter and tax-payer, my tax dollars go to support Catholic higher education institutions and social service organizations like Catholic Charities, and you don’t see me bitching. I want to live I’m a country where faith-based organizations like Notre Dame and CUA can flourish, because then my society flourishes. Even tho it’s not my faith. And the society YOU live in, T.W. Smith, is a better place because Planned Parenthood exists; and because writers like Jennifer Crusie have the freedom to write what they think whether you or I like it or not; and if that twists yer britches too much, I’m sure Glenn Beck has a new book coming out soon. Put your money there.

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On February 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm Eileen said...

While I disagree with your perspective, I respect everyone’s right to their own view. Be aware that while 3% of PP services are abortion related NO TAX dollars fund this service. Your tax dollars do not cover the service.

I made my donation this week to PP and will continue to do so.

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On February 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm W Smith said...

Don’t worry Brinker caved in and reversed her decision. It’s fine with me, but I will no longer read Crusie books. You know the saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”? I wish I hadn’t read any on this and could continue reading her books. But I can’t forget Crusie’s comments and how other liberals like her are going to damage a great organization like Komen. I have benefited greatly from Komen, as well as millions of other women. PP will NOT suffer.

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On February 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm Jenny said...

She said they’d let PP reapply for grants. She didn’t say they’d fund them.
But absolutely, since this post has disappointed you, I can see why that would taint the books for you. Try Lucy March, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Anne Stuart. They’re all great.

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On February 7, 2012 at 11:03 pm Bethany said...

Have I told you that you’re a class act? Close to 17 years since I first picked up one of your books and I’m still be inspired by you. Thank you.

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On February 8, 2012 at 4:44 am Jenny said...

Smooch.

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On February 3, 2012 at 8:06 pm PG said...

Per Charity Navigator, there are breast cancer-specific charities that are as highly rated as Komen, don’t spend as much on salaries and are more efficient in fundraising. (The mailing in Yoplait pink lids thing makes no sense to me… they do realize how much a stamp costs these days, right?)

Check out Breast Cancer Connections (support groups for people with BC), The Rose (funding screening, diagnosis and treatment for low-income women) or the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund (educating and advocating for research). They aren’t run by political types making $400k+ a year, but instead by people in those communities.

I have participated in half-marathons and other activities to support Komen, and been confronted by protesters claiming that Komen killed babies because of the PP funding for breast cancer screening. So much for the myth that it’s only liberals who’d criticize Komen — this whole thing started because certain conservatives were attacking Komen and pressuring it to change. I will now do those things to support http://www.the-rose.org.

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On February 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm Julia said...

First, it made me so happy to read (almost) all the comments about this issue–not just because I support Planned Parenthood and was disappointed in Komen’s behaviors, but because of how thoughtful people have been about why this bothers them. Life’s complicated, and it’s so frustrating when political debates get reduced to the lowest common denominator!

However, as an adjacent side note: As someone who works in the nonprofit sector, I have to respond to a couple of comments about salaries and administrative costs. It’s obviously a concern to many people when a charity spends “too much” on things other than direct program services (e.g., providing meals at a soup kitchen). I get that, I do. But I’d like to encourage the world (or at least the Argh blog readers) to take a more nuanced view of how nonprofits allocate the resources that they have. That is, “overhead” is not by definition an evil word. There’s a reason organizations need computers, office space, people with kicka** skills (even if they are, oh horror, managers, and not front line staff), training for staff, a decent accounting system–without these things, eventually the non-profit is going to do a worse job of serving the people (or cause) that it’s trying to help.

I’m not saying that >$400K/year isn’t a lot, or that Komen’s CEO is worth it–I’ll probably never make that much money, and that’s OK, I knew that when I chose this career. But let’s think about the labor market competition for a senior executive in any sector, and how hard it is for nonprofits to compete with for-profit salaries.

So, here’s my ask: Let’s not default to saying “Any nonprofit that spends more than X% of its expenses on overhead” is bad or inefficient or unworthy of support. If you believe in its mission, if you believe that it does good work, if you believe that its run by smart, capable, honest people, then trust that they know the best way to invest the few resources that they have be it in “overhead” or program work. Because chances are they’ve dedicated their careers to making a difference and are committed to maximizing their impact, the good they can do in the world. This doesn’t mean give blindly, but take the extra time to do your homework–not just statistics on Charity Navigator, but get to know the organization, its reputation, how it does its work.

Lastly, I highly recommend an article by Bridgespan, a nonprofit that does research and consulting (and other stuff) for the nonprofit sector: “The NonProfit Starvation Cycle” — for anyone who’s interested in a deeper look at the challenges of fundraising and building a successful nonprofit organization. (Link and excerpt below.)

http://www.bridgespan.org/nonprofit-starvation-cycle.aspx?resource=Articles

“Organizations that build robust infrastructure—which includes sturdy information technology systems, financial systems, skills training, fundraising processes, and other essential overhead—are more likely to succeed than those that do not. This is not news, and nonprofits are no exception to the rule….[However]…In response to pressure from funders, nonprofits settle into a “low pay, make do, and do without” culture, as the Nonprofit Overhead Cost Study calls it. Every aspect of an organization feels the pinch of this culture. In our consulting work with nonprofits, for example, we often see clients who are unable to pay competitive salaries for qualified specialists, and so instead make do with hires who lack the necessary experience or expertise. Similarly, many organizations that limit their investment in staff training find it difficult to develop a strong pipeline of senior leaders.”

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On February 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm Sharon S. said...

Right up there with all this is the JC Penney-thing…maybe this isn’t the right forum, but I just have to add…JCP hired Ellen DeGeneres to be their spokeswoman…now some group called OneMillionMothers wants her fired because she’s gay. This really ticks me off. I’m not gay myself, BUT, it infuriates me when narrow-minded people like OMM comes along and wants someone fired because of who they are. Makes me want to go to JCP and spend my entire paycheck in protest! My mother worked for JCP in their beauty shop for years, owns stock in JCP and it just makes me proud they didn’t cave. Good for JCP for standing behind Ellen!

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On February 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm CrankyOtter said...

Likewise, I shopped at Target (for the first time in a while) after I saw their ad using a model with Downs Syndrome, shown as just one of the kids and not off in a special section or pointed out as different.

I think at this point my donations to PP have exceeded those for Komen, but I may need to settle up again. My only beef is that they now send me about $10 of paperwork every other week. I need to tell them my support is annual and to lay off the money wasting solicitations.

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On February 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm Cathy M said...

I donated yesterday and will continue to support Planned Parenthood. I’m a child of the sixties and remember the fight for women’s reproductive rights. I have no desire to see women go back to the days when people in power felt they had the moral right to tell women what they could do in their homes and with their bodies. I’ll stay out of their personnal lives if they’ll stay out of mine.

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On February 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm McB said...

“I’ll stay out of their personnal lives if they’ll stay out of mine.”

Sadly I am only allowed to “love this comment” once. Maybe that’s for the best as otherwise I would probably break my mouse button with an abundance of enthusiasm.

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On February 3, 2012 at 3:34 pm Rebecca Zanetti said...

I’m so glad you wrote these words: “True conservatives want government out of people’s lives, not interfering with their choices.” Most people truly, truly, truly do not understand that. Drives me crazy. I mean, crazier. :)

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On February 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm Ginny said...

I work for my state government and every year I am placed under pressure to donate to the United Way via our state “charitable organization”. And I fight them every year especially since the United Way booted out PP. I prefer to pick where my money goes and do not want it designated for me.

I stand with Planned Parenthood.

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On February 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm Katie said...

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/02/03/146344674/in-reversal-komen-reinstates-funding-for-planned-parenthood?live=1%3Fsc%3Dfb&cc=fp

They amended the criteria to specify that any investigation must be “criminal and conclusive,” so PP is now once again eligible, and they’ll keep funding them. Apparently the backlash was too much for them.

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On February 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm Jenny said...

They haven’t said they’ll keep on funding. They’ve said PP can keep applying for grants. The more I learn about Komen, the more I’m glad I give directly to PP.

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On February 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm NtYtCrzyCatLdy said...

Very true. It does not guarantee their continued participation in future grants. Nothing guaranteed the money each year; no rollover clause. They must reapply every year just like everyone else who applies for grants from the foundation. What really irks me is they are funding those stupid handguns. Seriously. What is the point? And don’t get me started on the Penn State $$. I would have continued to support SGK as I believe they do good work but their choices where the $$ goes have left a bad taste in my mouth (as well as this debacle). So needless to say, my donation strategy for this year and beyond has changed.

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On February 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm Tracey said...

Not funding handguns. See the gawker update. (come on, you knew this was too good to be true!)

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On February 3, 2012 at 4:45 pm Jenny said...

Not funding, but I thought they were partnering; I did trace back the source but I should have waited for more confirmation. Thank you for the catch.
In other news, they do partner with KFC, because nothing says breast health like saturated fat.
I know, at this point, I’ve gone over the edge. No longer lucid on this subject. The defeating-the-public-option was the last straw for me.

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On February 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm Tracey said...

Yeah, the wording of the press release was very careful. PP can reapply…well so can we all, that doesn’t mean we’ll get a grant! I am waiting to see how long it takes for Rep Cliff Stearns (R-Flori-Nut) to declare his “investigation” has found evidence of criminality, which means he can hand the shebang over to the Justice Dept…which probably wouldn’t take it, but still. BTW, the Gawker item abt handguns has been updated w/ a Komen denial. Judged on raising awareness alone, Komen has done great things (and the marketing/co-branding deals are incredible) for all women the world over. Just as PP has done great things for women’s health the world over. This particular fight is not about women’s health — it’s about abortion provision and access, and right-wing politics in America, and what happens when a iconic brand takes sides. (Hint: brand takes a BIG hit.)

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On February 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm Jenny said...

I think it’s also about bringing into the light how little of the money actually goes out to research and funding, and how some of that money goes to sue other charities and to fund political fights (really, you’re a cancer organization and you’re against the public option? REALLY?).

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On February 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm Deborah Blake said...

The pink gun thing just pushed me right over the edge. As the article I read said: Nothing says women’s health like a pink handgun… (paraphrasing). ARGH.

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On February 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm Tracey said...

Re: public option: because nothing says “hell-foe-leather mudslide into socialism” like MARKET-BASED universal healthcare paid for by INDIVIDUALS. But like I said above, don’t let facts stop anyone from thinking.

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On February 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm Thea said...

Gave! thank you for the link to PP.

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On February 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm Louise said...

I’m not anywhere near the US, but I’m with you in spirit and support you in fighting the good fight. There are too many who have a huge slice of the pie, but that’s not enough, they want the whole pie.
All the power to you!

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On February 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm Jessie said...

This reminds me of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving debacle some time ago. The original MADD was founded by two mothers who either had or were reacting to children killed by drunken drivers. It raised funds to change laws so a drunk driver who killed someone was less likely to walk and also to do grief counseling. It was hugely popular. Then someone bought them out (that’s right you can buy your non-profit) and after that the lobbying was mostly a few billboards and I was told (this could be misinformation) that grief counseling was a brochure on social services or groups that provided counseling and all that money was being paid predominantly to “administration” and “fund raising”. I don’t know anybody who still donates to MADD.

That being said there are sites on the internet where you can check to see how charities spend their dollars . Off hand I can’t remember its name but will get the information. We try to give a reasonable amount every year to all types of charities so we have to verify that they actually are spending money in a reasonable way.

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On February 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm Tracey said...

Charitynavigator.org

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On February 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm Diane L. said...

Well, I was just debating whether to register for a Komen race event being held next month. Decision made-I will be doing something else.
Komen may do good work (although the more I read about them the less impressed I am by their funding priorities) but there are lots of other organizations that do very good work in breast cancer research and treatment.

As an aside, today happens to be Women’s Heart Health Awareness Day! People forget that more women die of heart disease than breast cancer-there’s another opportunity to support women’s health issues.

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On February 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm KdotLdot said...

I am very concerned that the bit reversal by SGK was just smoke and mirrors, aimed to get people off their backs. The real proof will be when (if) they actually restore the funding they denied. All the big media outlets are shouting that it is all better now. But nothing has been fixed. Maybe I’m just too cynical, but I would bet money that they don’t actually restore anything. SGK has become WAY too political for me.

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On February 4, 2012 at 12:29 am Jenny said...

Yeah, I’m not buying it, either. Once I took a close look at the way they’re spending their money, that was it. They have an agenda and it’s not mine. My $ are going to PP.

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On February 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm KC said...

I was honestly very surprised at the support PP recieved on this issue. I guess politicians spend so much time spewing their complaints about the group, you forget that there are obviously millions of people out there that support them, and what they offer to all women, espeically those who need the most help. I plan to continue supporting PP, and maybe with this topic so fresh in people’s minds, and the number of open disucssions it has generated, we can start reminding others out there that Women’s health is not a policital issue, and there are plenty of people who will fight to make sure it is not treated as one.

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On February 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm RedwoodKim said...

Exactly. There are small number of folks with extreme views who are very adept at making their views heard whilst the rest of us are busy leading our reasonable lives. But push us too hard, and we will roar.

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On February 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm KC said...

I also found these comments on the Connecticut branch of Komen dated 1/27/12. I don’t understand how comments like this can be made, then a week later the complete opposite happens:

“We’re heartened by word that breast cancer screening rates have been relatively stable in the past decade, but more than concerned that we’re not meeting national targets for breast screenings across all population groups,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Komen founder and CEO. “These figures underscore the need for more women to get educated and get screened if we are to make progress against breast cancer, which is still the number one cancer killer of women worldwide.”
Brinker said the positive news in the report is that screening rates for African American women – who are often diagnosed later or with more aggressive forms of breast cancer than Caucasians – is improving at 73.4 percent. Significant challenges remain to improve screening rates among Hispanic women (69.7 percent) and Asians (64.1 percent).
The most dismal numbers came for women without insurance (38.2 percent) or women without a usual source of health care (36.2 percent).
“This gap in care for uninsured and low-income women is particularly troubling and one we have been working very hard to fill at Susan G. Komen,” Brinker said. “It’s clear that we have far more work to do for women who have no resources, no insurance, and no steady source of healthcare. They need our help the most.”
http://ww5.komen.org/KomenNewsArticle.aspx?id=19327354101&ecid=social:290

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On February 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm McB said...

KC – that’s exactly right. On any issue whichever side makes the most noise and has the best sound bites will have an emotional impact that makes anyone on another side feel like a minority. And people do react emotionally and without regard to factual information. It has always been thus. And a savvy few recognize that and know how to manipulate it. Look anywhere in history and wherever you find yourself wondering, “What were they thinking?” that’s what happened. Rational, intelligent people can fall prey as easily as anyone. It’s good to remember that when the rhetoric starts getting deep enough for waders.

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On February 4, 2012 at 12:24 am Linda Katmarian said...

Amen. Komen Foundation made an awful mistake in trying to defund Planned Parenthood. With all the political noise these days about the constitution and freedom, it seems we have to fight harder than ever for reproductive rights, the right to organize and belong to a union, the right to vote, and so on. It’s hard to understand why some people are so determined to take away the freedoms of others.

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On February 4, 2012 at 5:43 am Jacki Knight said...

I’m in Australia and had never heard of either SGK before this fracas blew up so I’m not sure people can claim ‘world-wide benefits for women’ from their doings. That said, we already have a very good universal healthcare system and breast screening is easily accessible (and free for women over 50). Something our governments agree is necessary. Over the past couple of years I have watched in sad disbelief the undermining and ruination of your government’s universal healthcare proposals. And I feel profoundly pessimistic that things will get any better for women in the US.

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On February 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm Tracey said...

@Jackie, we have universal coverage now; and the reason that the GOP and the right-wing are working so hard to undermine it is that once the full provisions of our universal healthcare kick in in 2014, people are going to see the real benefits and it will be very difficult to repeal. We are all too young to remember, but these are the same arguments launched against Social Security when Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched it as part of the New Deal in the 30s. Now Social Security is known as the “third rail” of American politics, as in electrified, as in “mess with my social security and die,” so we can’t even means-test it (which I support).

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On February 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm Micki said...

I am deeply ambivalent on the subject of abortion, but I quite firmly believe if you don’t want babies, kill the sperm. Isolate the egg. PP helps women do that, and the fact that they help women in so many other ways is just bonus.

SGK may be like an advertising agency and brilliant at promoting awareness, but for all that, they are still middlemen. I think we all need to be more careful about how we support charities these days. When possible, donate directly to the clinics and research centers that you support. Also, don’t discount the huge value of hands-on, local donation of time.

I am still extremely po’d about Haiti: I donated a modest amount after the earthquakes and I STILL get magazines (overseas postage!) and e-mails that have surely eaten up all of my modest donation by now. Now when I donate, I try to do it in cash or through a relative . . . untraceable by the charity. I don’t make enough money for a tax write-off to make any difference, so I can do that. Other people are juggling other concerns.

Also, we do have freedom of choice when it comes to making donations. No one is *forcing* anyone to stop donating to SGK. In a rational society, people will look at the arguments, and if they think the arguments are light-weight, they will keep on doing what they are doing. If they think the arguments have merit, they will do something else. Voting with our dollars is a kind of democracy, too — one where the rich have a lot more sway, if they care to use their influence. However, in women’s health issue, I think the poor care at least as much.

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On February 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm Sue K said...

Done. My donation wasn’t large, but it’s what I can do right now. It just so happens that I run a small non-profit. I know that I am grateful for every single donation that comes to us for our cause. When I get an envelope with a couple of crumpled one dollar bills, it moves me to tears with gratitude, because someone cares enough to give what they can. It ALL helps, it all adds up. No donation is ever too small. I’ve long questioned SGK’s high overhead, especially since a (non-smoker) friend with lung cancer pointed out the cash-rich SGK organization which doesn’t help with other cancers, but puts money into making pink water bottles and t-shirts instead.

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On February 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm Jean Barry said...

Madam, I salute you. Far too many women depend on Planned Parenthood clinics to provide reproductive health services and screenings to allow the organization to become a political football. As a formerly uninsured American, currently dealing with ineffectual insurance that does not cover preventive care such as yearly exam or mammogram, I am grateful for PP to be available to all women.

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On February 6, 2012 at 2:33 am ruthie said...

Oooh, here’s a cue for one of my ongoing rants. I am sooo tired of celebrities and their causes — oh, the starving people in XYZ; oh, the people injured in an earthquake in ABC, etc., when XYZ and ABC are never the United States. When you’ve got a whole platoon of celebs bringing attention to some cause and raising/donating money for that cause, almost always in another country, well, it just pisses me off.

Where were they after Katrina? Busy exploiting photo ops, most of them, if they were there at all. Everyone made fun of Sean Penn for going in on his own and wanting desperately to help only to have his boat break down or run out of gas. Yeah, he didn’t plan very well, but good lord, his heart was with the people of New Orleans. So they mock him and look for some place on another continent where they can bestow their favors. Bastards.

Why don’t they use their celebrity and donate/raise some of that money to help the starving, homeless, injured people here? Are they less deserving because they live in the U.S??? Sure, we’re a big country with deep pockets, but why do those pockets only open for people who don’t live here?

I’ve got to say that I don’t think most of these celebs are politically motivated, their hearts are in the right place, unlike this (PP) issue, but why doesn’t some homeless child or starving vet living here in the U.S. wring their hearts???

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On February 8, 2012 at 9:34 am Rose said...

I stand with Planned Parenthood. My donation was extremely modest, but they have it, and I’ll be leery of supporting Komen in the future.

I suppose it would be childish and against the spirit of this blog to ask for an “I hate this comment” button.

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On February 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm Jenny said...

No dislike buttons; we don’t have that much focus of purpose.

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