Miss Lori speaks from the heart about the Susan G Komen Planned Parenthood saga

I have so many mixed feeling about the Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood saga of the last few days. When the decision first broke that Komen intended to de-fund their grants to Planned Parenthood I felt dizzy with grief. So many things in this World of late have seemed illogical and unfair. How the poor and middle class have been sadled with work like slaves to the rich. How banks and credit card companies have practiced loan shark like extortion over people with barely two nickels to rub together, keeping them down, struggling in quicksand that continues to pull them under. How CEOs and Company Presidents have wreaked havoc in their businesses, and then slinked off to their yachts and Summer houses, stepping on their workers’ quality of life like Godzilla stomping on Japan. It’s been horrifying. But through it all I have remained steadfast in my belief that, despite our differences as human beings, those of us in the trenches, those of us just trying to survive every day, possessed a basic human respect for each other and a belief in goodwill. I beleived that ultimately we all longed for every one of our community members to be safe and cared for. And then Susan G. Komen, a foundation who I believe to be a beacon of goodwill, did the unthinkable, they abandoned an entire population of people who are desperately in need of protection, because of politics and religious ideaology. It knocked my earth off its’ axis.

Then something amazing happened. People all around the country spoke up. They tweeted, updated, and shouted to anyone who would listen, that this was not okay. They took charge and flexed their individual muscles, creating a massive set of arms that wrapped around Planned Parenthood and all of the women that they care for. At first Komen stood stoically. Then they responded by deleting some of the dissenters’ comments. Then they posted a video response saying we the people were just misunderstanding the situation. Then, after the outcry got louder, Senators joined the chorus, and donation dollars vanished by the hundreds of thousands, a new statement was posted. The Komen Foundation, 72 hours after their devastating announcement, reversed their decision. They announced,

“We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.”

Wait, what? After the last decade of listening to double speak and empty promises my ears are a little more finely tuned to BS and that is exactly what that sounds like. I hope that I am just feeling a little raw, and my fatalist reaction is just the result of the open wound I live with from the pileaging of the economy. So let’s read this together.

We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.

The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.

It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics — anyone’s politics.

Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work. We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.

We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.

I am not the only one questioning the authenticity of this reversal. There are whispers all over the web. “Funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.” Which communities would those be? Do any of the funders live on the South side of Chicago, or in the bowels of Detroit. Will those communities needs continue to be met? And what of this statement?
It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics — anyone’s politics.

We weren’t the ones who allowed our politics to mar  our mission. We weren’t the ones who created the controversy. Pausing, slowing down, so The Foundation can move past this issue, that would be convenient now wouldn’t it? But the war isn’t over. There are still people out there who are not guaranteed care. The last thing we should do is quiet down.

I am not saying that the Susan G. Komen Foundation doesn’t do good for many people. Nor am I saying that they do not deserve our support. I believe that they do. I have great hope that the subtle message between the lines of their statement does not come to pass. That instead SGK rises above the pressure of politics and religion to put all women at the top of their priority list where they deserve to be.

The knot in my stomach is not as tight as it was three days ago, but it most certainly isn’t unraveled. But at least I know I am not alone. There are others out there that feel its’ presence, and as well, feel compelled to do something about it. What we all need to remember is that just as each tweet and comment made a difference in this saga, so does every vote count in every election. Therefore, no matter which party you subscribe to, it is your duty to your community to let your voice be heard, respectfully, definitively and with intent. So many people fought and died for you to have that right. In honor of their sacrifice it is your responsibility to exercise it.

SMILE On!

ML

Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV , Wearetherealdeal.com , YoungChicagonista ,ChicagoMomsBlog , and ChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on YoutubeFacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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Comments

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  2. Miss Lori says:

    Thanks Clare. I really appreciate your support.

    SMILE!

    ML

  3. Tatarsky says:

    I think it is interesting (and disturbing) how the word POLITICS has come to mean RELIGION too often these days. Replace the word POLITICS in the above retraction from Susan Koman’s foundation with the word RELIGION and you have a much more truthful account of what is occurring in our country. Thanks for the info Lori! 

  4. Miss Lori says:

    Thanks for your post and your comment Brian. 

    SMILE!

    ML

  5. brian patrick cork says:

    Hello Miss Lori.

    Thank you for the reference (http://www.unsinkablebriancork.com/2009/10/31/extortion-credit-card-companies-caught-in-the-act/), and for being part of the Solution.

    Cork

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