Charity? Toys for the Lobbyists? Bullies on the Charity playground? All of the Above?

Holy Cow! I feel like I’m watching a tennis match with a good volley going, head left, head right, head left, head right, head left, head right…
As you may have heard, The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, has become a target in the past few days for critics and other news starved individuals. First, it was reported that the Komen Foundation was suing the pants off small “mom and pop” run charities who dared to use the Komen trademarked word “Cure” or the also trademarked “color pink”. So, it would seem, this wonderful altruistic organization is spending a goodly chunk of their donated funds to pay for them to play the bully and literally sue hundreds of small charities for using their trademarked “Cure” and “the color pink”. Now wait a minute. Can you own a word, or a color for that matter?!?!? I mean, really, what’s the big deal, can’t we all play together. Instead of a polite request to discuss this, Komen is filing suits willy nilly, forcing the small charities to use their limited funds for legal fees and research of the issue. What are they, some big corporation that doesn’t want its “brand” sullied or diluted by allowing these small home grown operations to use a certain word or a certain color?!?!? It would seem that they are attacking legitimate grass roots charities who sponsor honest homespun events to raise funds for the very thing that Komen supposedly stands for. I could forgive a little, if it seemed to be an issue of targeting, oh, IDK, soft porn groups who try to ride the Komen coattails by using these trademarks in their promotions, or even just a run of the mill entrepreneur who tries to cash in by using “Cure” and “pink” to sell their little products, related or not to the core issue. But that doesn’t seem to be what’s happening here.

Next, we hear that the Komen Foundation has decided to withdraw its funding to Planned Parenthood. Not pennies, either. Donations were in the upper 6 figure range for 2011. Externally this action was a perceived reaction to pressure from pro-life, anti-abortion politicos. Komen claims this change is due to their policy of not giving funds to any group currently under investigation, which, Planned Parenthood is, federally, to determine whether they are using tax dollars for abortions. Some have called this investigation a witch-hunt. Sort of reminds me of a recent situation in which a friend gave me a gift of funds to get some work done on my van. All of a sudden, there were strings attached, as to how the money should be spent, how the work should be done. This friend passive-aggressively said he wanted to be sure his money was being spent “wisely”. So Komen, didn’t like how Planned Parenthood could be (not even a sure thing) using the money. and decided not to give it in the first place.

Well, that surely raised a lot of hackles, critics from far and wide were suggesting Komen should not allow their actions to be determined by political issues and climate. Soon, wealthy Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, promised a hefty sum to Planned Parenthood, that the results of Komen’s decision might be somewhat offset. Whatever his agenda, it replaced some money so that those that Planned Parenthood helps, women who would otherwise have no health care, do not have to go without important health care, because of some political pissing contest.

A few of Komen’s top people, including a physician, resigned, some citing the decision as reason for their departure.

Then, well, guess what, Susan G Komen Foundation changed its mind and reinstated their fund allocation to Planned Parenthood. This has been well received by many, who feel that Planned Parenthood is the one place where women who would not otherwise get health care, are provided with appropriate screening and treatment. My personal thoughts on Planned Parenthood’s over all policy has always been good-for-you, Planned Parenthood, for ensuring the right of each and every woman to quality health care, especially those who would probably not get it, and ensuring their right to choose, a choice for themselves, their bodies and maybe even for the spirit/child not to be born at this time. A spirit/child who will come again later, when circumstances are much better and they will be entering a world in which they are wanted and will be loved and nurtured, rather than neglected, hated and punished for just being alive.

Though I would like to end the story on an up note, further research has disclosed that former press secretary to G. W. Bush, Ari Fleischer, has had a solid role in the framing of the Susan G Komen Foundation’s position with regards to Planned Parenthood. In fact, Mr. Fleischer has been integrally involved in defining and filling the position of Senior Vice President for Communications and External Relations, recently created by the Komen Foundation. He has taken part in the interview process for prospective parties and questioned the candidates’ position on the controversial relationship between the Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood. Thus, Mr. Fleischer as a paid consultant to Komen, has insinuated his political agenda into what mayhaps should be a non partisan entity, a non profit organization.

Well, my lesson has been learned… things are not always what they seem to be…

Related articles:

Susan G Komen Foundation Elbows Out Charities Over Use of the Word “Cure”
Charity Pulls Plug on Planned Parenthood
Susan G Komen Officials Resign as Backlash Gains Steam
Top Susan G Coleman Official Resigned Over Planned Parenthood Cave-In
Komen says Planned Parenthood Plans are Mischaracterized
Bloomberg Pledges $250K to Planned Parenthood
Top Komen Official Resigns in Protest over Grant Cuts
Supporters Grapple with Komen Fracas Fallout
Ari Fleischer Secretly Involved in Komen Strategy on Planned Parenthood
Komen Backs off Decision on Funding Cuts

Komen also stops Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research