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Gothic Angel

SUSAN B. KOMEN v PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Posted on 2012.02.03 at 10:48
Current Location: 67114

I really do hate weighing in on current events. Sociology isn't really my thing. But when I can use it as a soapbox to help identify and strengthen appropriate behavior, I'll willing to put my neck out there. Please understand that I am a white, middle-class, heterosexual male, which I have been told makes me mostly inadmissible.


Pointed "social issues" author Eric Hoffer is often misquoted as saying, "Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket." Ironically enough, I first heard this quote by a close friend of mine who beat breast cancer, then later stopped supporting the Susan B. Komen Foundation when they began allowing their iconic pink ribbon to adorn, if not carcinogens, then at least scientifically dubious items, healthwise speaking - much as the diabetic association promoting high starch items such as rice - that which would have the opposite intended affect. Why? Money of course. Greed. Not that the Foundation hasn't done great works, and brought awareness to the forefront with *actual* activism (not just changing their Facebook page avatar). But if "Hoffer's Law" stands to reason, with what evidence would the Susan B. Komen Foundation be immune from this cycle?


That being said, were I my own foundation, and I chose to filter those I assisted based on a set of policies and procedures put in place to protect me, I can see exactly how something like the cessation of funds to Planned Parenethood could occur. Concerning this news, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was quoted as saying, "Politics have no place in health care." Really? I wonder how he voted on Obama's healthcare reform? When I enlisted in the Air Force, one of the advantages of serving to retirement was free lifelong healthcare. Until Congress repealed it. For the uninitiated, Congress = politics. That was about the time I became familiar with HMOs. Businesses, not doctors, determining coverage. Again, for those asleep at the wheel, busieness = politics. In fact, I've never known healthcare to ever be about anything but politics. And like everything else here lately it goes back to my Devil's Trap post. That being, You cannot extol virtues of mine that you find conducive to your personal code of ethics without accepting the same ones which may run contrary to it. From my limited understanding, the Foundation's policy (which was put in place to promote and further the agenda of the Foundation - not, you know, Planned Parenthood) was to not provide funds to anyone under investigation by the Federal government. Period. Not "anyone under investigation by the Federal government *except* Planned Parenthood."


This "outcry" for Planned Parenthood to be exempt from the Foundation's rules could very well weaken the Foundation's ability to sustain itself (by opening it up to discrimination or other fiscally draining activities), and therefore it ability to sustain Planned Parenthood! Selfish mob-mentality potentially shooting itself in the foot. "If I can't have it, no one can. We'll tear the whole thing down." Now how is that exactly helping those in need? Then again, just as it can be argued that the Susan B. Komen Foundation may have degenerated into a racket, perhaps its time for a new victor to arise and take its place thus reestablishing the "great case" and resetting Hoffer's Law?


We might all be the better for it.

Comments:


(Deleted comment)
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-02-03 19:05 (UTC) (Link)
I love how you approach this with a completely logical frame of mind...
It is, simply put, my greatest strength. And, my greatest weakness.

I wonder how much of this was legitimate, protective thinking, and how much of it was driven by the needs of one lady to support her own political agenda.
Why do the two have to be mutually exclusive? If I am legitimizing myself, I'm going do so in my best interest, hence voting. Not everyone agrees with me politically, but my aims may be different than yours, so we're going to each attempt to get our own candidate in office. That being said, I do have a future post deconstructing "If you don't vote you can't bitch about it" as a strawman...stay tuned!

Anyway, your point about "supporters who came out on behalf of SGK, stating that now that they'd pulled PP funding, they'd start donating again. Then there are supporters on behalf of PP, who said they'd pull their donations" is very much on my next topic list, that being, "Offense." Each party you've mentioned has their own reasons for participating - or not - we don't know those reasons, so we can only do what is best for us, or how we feel, without judging others.

But yeah, there is probably not an "easy" answer to this, but I often feel, only by divorcing ourselves emotionally from it, can it truly be solved. And you're right, that's not always the best approach.

Thanks for the talking point!
(Deleted comment)
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-02-04 04:25 (UTC) (Link)
Social responsibility, yes. And what great works! But at what point does the Foundation no longer get to control its own interests? I guess this is where we talk about either the opportunity for others to pick up the torch and carry on - or - upon who's shoulders the responsibility now lie, in this imperfect world?
Jobu
jobu121 at 2012-02-03 19:12 (UTC) (Link)
Have you ever thought that radical ideas threaten institutions, then the radical ideas become institutions, and in turn reject radical ideas which threaten institutions?
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-02-03 19:12 (UTC) (Link)
Well said. And to answer your question, yes. Often.
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2012-02-03 22:23 (UTC) (Link)
As I mentioned on the post at Ariadnescurse, to me it's ultimately not a matter of right and wrong, policies, or politics. Simply put, there are actions and there are consequences. Komen rocked the boat. Now both organizations are reaping the consequences. Period.

If Komen is unhappy with those consequences, I would offer that they did not consider their actions very well. Perhaps they are just following policy. Good enough. But only a moron would think that they could by with pulling funds from Planned Parenthood without a backlash.
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-02-04 04:14 (UTC) (Link)
I don't know much about the relationship between the two, but I would think the Foundation could pick and choose whomever they wished to give or not give money too - I'm pretty sure that's how foundations work. I don't think I'm a moron, so I must be missing something. Who's boat exactly did Komen rock? Their own? Is that not their prerogative to do so?

Now I do understand that the public didn't agree with their decision - which could affect their income - hence the public relations consequences.

And the last thing I don't get - why would one company so entirely vest themselves in the livelihood of another? Things can change!
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2012-02-04 04:46 (UTC) (Link)
but I would think the Foundation could pick and choose whomever they wished to give or not give money too - I'm pretty sure that's how foundations work.

Agreed. I'm not arguing that point and in fact, I think I made a very similar statement on ariadnescurse's post on the subject.

Now I do understand that the public didn't agree with their decision - which could affect their income - hence the public relations consequences.

THIS! This is what my comment is in reference to. While I fully acknowledge it is the Foundation's prerogative to give money to whomever they like ~ or not ~ given that Planned Parenthood is always in the spotlight, enshrouded in with both vehement supporters and detractors, it seems to me that whomever made the decision to pull funding might have been able to predict that not only was the action highly unlikely to go un-noticed, but with just a bit of thought, they could have easily predicted there would be an outcry from some ~ fair or not.

Should they have done it? Only the decision-makers at Komen know. But given their reversal, a reversal that shows public opinion IS important to the Foundation, it's apparent that someone had their head up their ass not to have foreseen the public reaction. Had they predicted this, they could have avoided sullying their reputation to begin with by opting not to proceed or had a far more effective strategy available to counter the reaction.
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-02-04 17:10 (UTC) (Link)
...might have been able to predict that not only was the action highly unlikely to go un-noticed, but with just a bit of thought, they could have easily predicted there would be an outcry from some ~ fair or not.

What people react to, and when, continues to surprise me. So perhaps that statement is better left to those who believe it to be true.
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2012-02-04 17:40 (UTC) (Link)
What people react to, and when, continues to surprise me. So perhaps that statement is better left to those who believe it to be true.

That is because you are beautifully logical. :-) This outcry has little to do with logic.

While I, too, operate primarily on logic, were it me that was making the decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood, I would have considered this possibility. Why? Because it is logical to take into account that many people react emotionally.
suzanne1945
suzanne1945 at 2012-02-03 22:40 (UTC) (Link)
Just read the SGK has rescinded pulling its funds from PP. In a report I listened to yesterday on NPR, this change in attitude about donating to PP has come about with the addition of new policy makers at SGK who are very conservative and anti abortion. Shouldn't an organization that has one aim (eradication of breast cancer) stick to that one crusade. The mixing of aims could completely destroy ones original goal. Why not, "We won't donate to any organization who has a female president or belongs to such and such church." If an organization is operating legally and is furthering your cause, that should be enough. The "under investigation" crap is because PP performs abortion (along with many other worthwhile services.)
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-02-04 04:28 (UTC) (Link)
Precisely! See quote above. In which your entire statement basically defines how rackets operate - through controlling the flow of money and injecting politics into business. You've summed it up beautifully, thank you!
(Anonymous) at 2012-02-27 18:32 (UTC) (Link)

Komen et al...

Livestrong.org (Lance Armstrong's foundation) covers all the bases.

As for Komen, when you come down to it, Planned Parenthood's mission does not coincide with Komen's. There is nothing that PP offers that women can't get elsewhere with respect to referrals to mammograms. PP does not actually perform mammograms, so not sure why one non profit should fund another who's mission doesn't match... politics aside.
People scream about access to healthcare, but interestingly, a person can self refer for a mammogram. It's the only radiology exam one can self refer, and be directly reported back to by the radiologist without having to go through a primary care physician. No one mentions that though. Must have something to do with mammography also being the only radiologic modality to be federally regulated. :D
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