Every day this week has brought a different story, a different excuse and a different justification from CEO Nancy Brinker for the “Board of Director’s” decision to cut funding for breast cancer screenings to Planned Parenthood. As of this moment, Ms. Brinker has just announced the Susan G. Komen Foundation has reversed their decision and will again be funding breast exams for poor and minority women who use Planned Parenthood as their sole source for health services. If Nancy Brinker and the Susan Komen Foundation are expecting a pat on the back from me… well, like my daddy used to say, “they can shit in one and wish in the other and see which one gets filled up first.” Right on, Daddy. Because I don’t trust these people one bit.
Their move to defund Planned Parenthood moved me to read their publicly available IRS tax returns and you deserve to know what’s in them. The top person makes over $500,000 a year salary. The #2 executive makes over $400,000 and several executives there are at the $200,000 level. In 2007, 23.5% of their donations actually went to “the race for the cure”. In 2008, that number spiked to a whopping 26.7% and in 2009, it plunged to 20.2%. So, for every $1 I donated to them in 2009, less than 21 cents of that dollar went to actual people and the rest paid for their bloated overhead. What, exactly, does the CEO of a non-profit actually do to earn a half a million donated dollars? Why, lie to the public, of course. This woman has future Congresswoman written all over her resume.
So, when they question the honesty of Planned Parenthood, the most highly scrutinized non-profit organization in America today, take it with a grain of salt.
Like every other American, I have been touched by breast cancer. A dear friend, LaDonna “Sue” Hurst was my soul sister and one of the finest teachers of the mentally handicapped who ever walked this earth was taken from us by this terrible disease. My best friend Julie’s mom, Martha, went to a doctor with a lump in her breast and pain and was told to go home, put a hot pack on it and call the doctor in 6 months. 6 months later, her mother was dead. My friend Pat who owns a local Indie bookstore was diagnosed with breast cancer. I watched her bravely struggle through chemo and come out on the other side with damaged heart valves from the treatment, though the doctors failed to share that salient detail with her prior to the treatments. I don’t believe I know anyone who isn’t somehow connected to someone stricken by this disease – which tells you how pervasive and insidious it truly is – and how important early detection is for the survival of the women who get it. I thought long and hard about those three wonderful women in my life when I heard this news and thought to myself, “How many more women have to die before they see how harmful this is and why, would SGK, of all people, cut funding to poor and low income women who are the most vulnerable?” It made no sense at all… until I began to follow the brown-stained political trail.
The first story by CEO Nancy Brinker: “A review of the grant guidelines indicated the money would be better spent elsewhere.” The second story: “SGK felt the money would be better directed to facilities that provide more direct services, like mammograms.” The third story: “SGK does not fund grant applications to organizations under investigation.” Certain more socially Conservative politicians have made sure PP is and remains under investigation, hoping beyond hope they can “catch” them using federal funding to provide abortions as a means of defunding them and shutting them down permanently. You see, these people don’t care that less than 3% of all the services provided by Planned Parenthood is abortion. They don’t care that 75% of all women who come there have incomes more than 150% BELOW the poverty line. Why, someone right here on this network promoted the very idea that Planned Parenthood is participating in eugenics as a means of carrying out some sort of “black genocide”, completely ignoring the fact that white women, by far, are the recipients of more abortions through Planned Parenthood than any other racial demographic. So these “Social Conservatives” can say anything they like, this is an attack on women, especially poor and minority women and what you’re telling America is that poor and minority women can die of breast cancer and you’re okay with that, so long as everyone forgets that abortion is still LEGAL in this country. As long as we terrorize abortion doctors, bomb clinics, murder providers and defund the one place a women can obtain a SAFE and LEGAL and CONSTITUTIONAL abortion, it’s okay to let women die of breast cancer to stop that 3% of their activities. All one has to do is to take a look at the President of SGK and then look at her failed gubernatorial run, her platform, her relationships and the rest of her political connections to understand the disingenuousness of Nancy Brinker’s comments that SGK’s decision wasn’t political. Yes, it was. One need only Google the words “Susan G. Koman” and “scandal” to witness 4 years of relentless attacks by the Right, pressuring SGK to defund Planned Parenthood. And if you think it’s not about abortion, all you have to do is look at the banner atop every one of those websites touting the number of Planned Parenthood abortions vs the number of mammograms provided. Clearly, they failed to attend high school health class the day breast exams were discussed. Clearly, they don’t understand that when one goes to Planned Parenthood and the manual palpation of the breast occurs, the doctors aren’t doing it for their health, they’re doing it for the woman’s health. So many of the doctors and nurses at Planned Parenthood educate their patients on the importance of self-examination – since that is the #1 way most breast cancers are initially found – NOT by mammograms – that aren’t even recommended for women under the age of 40. Did you know that nearly 10 percent of all breast cancers occur in women under 40? Did you realize that manual breast exams (both self-exams and those performed by a health professional) are almost always the way those are detected? The Pro-Life movement is only pro-life regarding your uterus. When it comes to your breasts… eh, not so much.
I, for one, have been a strong supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for many years. I’ve participated in their events, purchased their products and donated a tidy sum of money. That ended this week. Even with their decision to restore funding to Planned Parenthood, they didn’t do it because they’d suddenly come to the realization they were condemning some women to death, they did it based solely on public pressure because they’re too blind to understand the hypocrisy of their own actions and the deplorable public relations job done by their CEO, Nancy Brinker. If you’re like me, you’ve already made your check out to Planned Parenthood. That’s one check I’d send because you can trust they’ll use it for the purposes intended – not making any judgments about their clientele or the reasons they’ve come… but truly saving lives.
Carol Baker is a political writer, satirist, and co-host with Vicki Childs of our Here Women Talk weekly internet talk radio show called BROADSIDED. You can hear their show every Thursday at 11 am Eastern/10 Central/8 Pacific.
Komen – and most certainly Brinker – have no interest in prevention or a cure. These would provide no benefit to their organization and the millions of dollars they take in ( and share with their own pockets ). Furthermore, they know that a cure for breast cancer is not allowed ( and would most certainly be blocked by every drug company ). Their deceptive and outright dishonest practices run freely with all this pink pomp and circumstance that has everyone’s vision clouded and blinded by the pink ribbon. It’s all quite clear, and I’ve even learned more about the greed and deception that runs through Nancy Brinker’s veins right here, in this video I came across:
I saw it, Devin. Sadly, it changes little and in a follow-up column later this week, I’ll explain why.
Planned Parenthood caught my daughter’s abnormal pap smears twice AND treated the pre-cancerous cells. As far as I’m concerned, they saved her life twice. They also taught her how to perform self breast exams, provided her with birth control and safe sex information AND performed her tubal ligation after her second child was born. (By the way, they did this when she was just 21 years old. The doctor respected her observation that since the birth of her two children is what precipitated the abnormal pap smears that maybe further pregnancies were not healthy for her.) Planned Parenthood also provided my son’s vasectomy, sought after the birth of his third child. I can’t help but imagine how much worse my daughter’s children’s lives would be without Planned Parenthood. IF their mother had lived long enough to have them, they would have had siblings and all would be orphans right now. As for my son and his wife, they have three wonderful boys but one is special needs. Limiting their family to just the three boys allows them to focus their resources on them and really provide the nurturing and support they’ll need to thrive.
I deeply appreciate Planned Parenthood. I will cheerfully support them. I will NOT support an organization that calls itself a “charity” but appears to only care about providing charity to its founder and the founders good buddies.
Rebecca, thank you for sharing. Nothing like a little first-hand experience from someone who can attest that this isn’t the demon “Den of Murder” they’ve been painted to be. Planned Parenthood improves and in so many cases, SAVES LIVES!
Nice article but do have an issue with the mathematics in one paragraph. When you state “They don’t care that 75% of all women who come there have incomes more than 150% BELOW the poverty line.” Being 150% below the poverty line just doesn’t compute unless they’re making a negative “income” in which case it’s not an income. So if the correct value 50% below the poverty line?
Yubert – according to the Federal Government, if the essentials you need for living, i.e., food, shelter, clothing, etc., is 1-1/2 times the amount of money you make, and that figure is below the national poverty level, then your income is 150 percent below the Federally stated national poverty line. It wasn’t a typo and I promise, I don’t make these things up.
Carol, I’m not disputing the data but what is wrong is the way you’re expressing it in mathematical terms. Let me give you an example of why one can NOT have an income below 100% of the poverty level. For sake of example, let’s say the poverty level for a family of four is $50,000/year. If a family of four made only $25,000/year then they would be 50% below the poverty level. If the same family made only $12,500/year then they’d be 75% below the poverty level. And if the same family made $0.00 income/year then they’d be 100% below the poverty level. So how can this family of four go any lower than $0 income?
Let’s be clear, I’m not expressing it that way… The United States Government is expressing it that way, and has since the 1930’s. Google the phrase “150% below poverty” and it will take you to literally dozens of Federal websites. I questioned it too, but looked it up, and was directly quoting from a Federal Government website. It wasn’t an attempt on my part to inflate the numbers or make it look more serious than it was. Even taking 50% below the poverty level as a benchmark, these services are completely out of reach for the poor. Isn’t that the greater point?
And for the record – “Other Women’s Health Services” is defined as pregnancy tests and prenatal services. “Other Services” is defined as family practice services for men and women, adoption referrals to other agencies and other procedures for men and women. It is not answering a phone and passing out condoms in a candy dish at the front desk. They DO clearly and specifically outline what those other health services are, regardless of the untruths you’ve come here with.
Jay, I do my homework. I don’t have to like how much PP execs make – and it’s $337K, not the $935K you stated, but given the scope of her job to attempt to defend a woman’s right to choose, I’d say it’s been earned, far more than than the CEO of SGK – if for nothing else than to defend lies like the whoppers you told here today.
Jay, your issue isn’t with salaries or you would have stuck to that issue – but you conflated your anger with me for supporting an organization that “produces dead babies”, forgetting what they do to help poor, minority and uninsured women. Your issue is with abortion. And if you and your wife make reproductive decisions together, that’s great – for you. Making reproductive decisions for other women – not so much.
And I CAN direct my ire at Komen for KNOWINGLY distributing products that contain carcinogens when it flies in the face of their stated mission – curing cancer.
Please direct me to your source (*not a blog, but a bona fide source) proving that 41% if PP income is derived from providing abortions. And the “alleged” 3% of services isn’t alleged at all. PP has been the most highly scrutinized non-profit in recent history. What, exactly makes their figure of 3% suspect, other than the fact that you believe a woman has no right to decide if or when she will become a mother?
Interesting how you come here spouting dishonest, stupid memes and accuse me of same.
My primary attack was not about the salaries of SGK – it was about them lying to the public for the reason they pulled the funding. 3 excuses in 3 days and the final one the worst of all – that they don’t fund organizations under investigation. Turns out they’ve funded at least a half dozen organizations under investigation, but PP is the only one who got their funding pulled.
I don’t look down upon you because you’ll never be pregnant. If you and your wife don’t believe in abortions, then don’t have one. Coming here and characterizing all abortion as murder made your philosophy pretty clear. You’re not interested in making decisions for your family alone. You’re interested in making it for everyone else’s
Current PP president Cecile Richards’ salary: nearly $400k
Top 18 PP execs’ salaries: over $250k
Past PP president Gloria Feldt’s salary: over $935k
Your attack upon Komen’s execs’ salaries not only rings hollow, but it’s hypocritical, too.
“If you’re like me, you’ve already made your check out to Planned Parenthood.”
Which just goes to prove that you care more about aborting babies than fighting cancer.
“That’s one check I’d send because you can trust they’ll use it for the purposes intended”
Yep. Unlike Komen’s donations, your donation will go straight to producing more dead babies. Congratulations.
Given that many of the products Komen sells contains carcinogens, they’re doing plenty to produce a lot of dead people. 3% of the services provided by PP is abortion. It would seem, Jay, that you’re far more interested in controlling women’s bodies than you are in saving women’s lives. Your scathing indictment of PP rings a little hollow – given that you’ll never be pregnant and have to make that decision yourself.
“Given that many of the products Komen sells contains carcinogens, they’re doing plenty to produce a lot of dead people.”
What does that have to do with the issue of salaries? Honestly, if you have a problem with alleged carcinogens, take it up with the EPA and FDA, not Komen. They don’t make the products.
“3% of the services provided by PP is abortion.”
Oddly enough, PP does not clearly define what they count as “services.” They could very well be counting answering the phone and handing out condoms to people who walk in and right back out as “services.” Of course, this alleged “3% of services” comes out to about 41% of their income. The whole “3%” meme is disingenuous on its head.
“It would seem, Jay, that you’re far more interested in controlling women’s bodies than you are in saving women’s lives.”
Oh, yes, let’s beat that stupid, dishonest little meme to death some more.
“Your scathing indictment of PP rings a little hollow”
No, actually, it doesn’t. Your primary attack was against Komen’s execs’ salaries. PP’s salaries are right up there, too (and even beyond, considering Feldt’s salary), yet you don’t say one critical word about it. Why?
“given that you’ll never be pregnant and have to make that decision yourself.”
I happen to be married and my wife and I make decisions about both of our health together (which has included reproductive health decisions) because we consider each other equals in the oneness of marriage. She does not look down upon me or reject my input because I’ll “never be pregnant.”
Your comment just proves that you did not read this for the facts, and you are completely ignoring all facts about PP. They do not provide only abortions. In fact, that is only 3% of what they do. I really shouldn’t bother reiterating these facts because you obviously are so blinded by ignorance that you do not care in the least. Have you ever had to live through a pregnancy knowing that your baby had little to no chance of survival? Or that your baby was already dead? Would you be willing to carry a dead child to term just because you say abortion is wrong? I’m extremely on the fence when it comes to abortions because there are so many situations that I cannot imagine dealing with, let alone having to make that decision. Shame on you for saying that women’s health is worth nothing if that includes possible abortions.
Wow. Unbelievable! I gave $ to them last year.
This is why I will no longer give to any group or organization unless I know what I’m able to give will be used wisely or unless I personally place it in the hands of someone reliable.
Thank you, Carol!
This woman is really pissed off and bravely tells it like it is http://herewomentalk.com/what-is-breast-cancer-what-its-not-brave-woman-tells-it-like-it-is
She is VERY brave! I applaud her courage to show and tell it like it is.
Thank you for sharing.
Great piece, thanks for the deeper examination of the money trail, and the ideology links. PP has always been my 1st choice for donations, they were there when I was a youngster for birth control and health care in my late teens and twenties.Their education process is so important to know when you first become a women in need of their services. I too have lost friends to breast cancer and to see that the majority of their funds is not applied to the necessary out reach and research makes me very disheartened. Thanks again for your fine work.
Go girl. Its all politics and not people. Fund your own wisdom, and be aware of big business anywhere. Time to live for the cure not sell it.
Remember after 9/11 and all the money the Red Cross collected only to come out and say, “oh, it’s for future disasters?” people jumped all over them and they did release some of the money raised to help 9/11 victims. I started to ask every organization I sent money to to tell me the #s. #s too low- no dough.
I went to for a job at PP about 15 years ago and one of the things they asked is if I felt comfortable walking people out of PP because of the protesters, I might have come off a tad radical for Long Island but they do good work. When I volunteered at an AIDS organization by me, the director spent all this money to have an alarm go off if anyone came near her office, I worked at a private school doing their advertising and fund raising and it was so upsetting. they kissed the asses of anyone who had money and trampled over the rest. that is when I decided not to go for a job in a non-profit and I would only volunteer. Thanks,Carol. I need a stiff drink.
I’m buying. You can’t imagine how duped I felt when sorting through those tax returns. They paid their top 3 executives more money than they withdrew from Planned Parenthood. All of them, including the Board of Directors should resign. What started out as a worthy cause has turned into a 900# gorilla.
Sadly, I knew about that for a long time. it is revolting.
Shame on them. I am for people making a living, but not that much and not in the not for profit business,
Can I have a glass of merlot? or two?
Thank you ten times and more for doing your homework and connecting the dots. “Follow the money trail” during controversy will usually lead you to corruption, political wannabes or cheaters at the other end. Why people have to bring it down to the abortion argument makes me crazy. Forgo all other services because of abortion..legal abortion..and who gets the short end of that stick?
Perhaps they have never been in a position in which there is no money for high paid specialists and even health insurance. Or they don’t remember illegal back alley coat hanger abortions. They will be done..just like they were back then..but at least today a woman doesn’t have to be butchered in the process by some so called doctor probably without a license.
They don’t remember how hard the battle was for women’s rights altogether. Ahh…was it worth it? Yes, for some, others, don’t deserve it… Pinheads.
I remember when abortion was neither safe OR legal. Some of us don’t have to imagine what it will be like – we were there.
I was wondering when we’d hear from you again, and boy, it was worth the wait. Thank you, Carol, for taking the time to do what 99.9% of us won’t bother to do (me included) … research the stats and tax returns. Holy cow. That’s depressing. Only 21 cents of every dollar goes to the intended recipients and the rest to SGK salaries? Thanks for opening our eyes.
I missed my calling by not becoming an investigative journalist.
Disclaimer – Broadsided Radio sides with Planned Parenthood and fully agrees with the statements above. Furthermore, Broadsided take full credit for Komen changing their mind even though their decision is cloaked in dishonesty :). Go Carol!
Don’t you just LOVE non-profits and their pay structure? If it wasn’t for their tax-exemption number, one could swear they were Goldman Sachs or any other slime-ball corporation. Thank you, OB, for opening our eyes!
“Don’t you just LOVE non-profits and their pay structure? If it wasn’t for their tax-exemption number, one could swear they were Goldman Sachs or any other slime-ball corporation.”
Does that include the non-profit (which annually reports a huge profit) known as Planned Parenthood?