Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Pink Bites Back

Way back in baseball season I wrote about the dangers of the Pink campaign to end breast cancer and followed up with a review of Barbara Eherenreich's "Bright Sided." I discussed how the Komen Foundation dispersed its money, much of which raised on the truly sad stories of friends and families of donors.  The Pink campaign "pinkwashed" cancer, focusing on the need to keep positive and dream of a cure, commercializing the disease, and avoiding very real big-picture causes like environmental toxins.  Meanwhile, behind the scenes they actually did donate some money to Planned Parenthood, which, while small scale to Komen, was huge for Planned Parenthood and even more huge for the individual women who benefited from the money.

Yesterday, the Komen Foundation pulled that money, either because of a brand new and very important policy about Congressional investigations, or more likely because they have some seriously conservative values. According to the Nation, "Planned Parenthood says Komen grants totaled around $680,000 in 2011 and $580,000 the year before, accounting for around 170,000 of the 4 million breast exams it has given in the last five years." That's 170,000 breast exams, primarily to low-income women.  That's a lot of breast exams, which, not surprisingly, predominately save the lives the poor and women of color.  The Pink campaign wants to find a cure, supposedly. Planned Parenthood wants women to know if they have cancer.  The Komen Foundation wants to play politics. Many action items at the bottom of this article.