Why I refuse to call the Komen About-Face a Victory

4 Feb

So Komen decided to about-face on their disgusting decision to defund Planned Parenthood amid a shitstorm of controversy and an overwhelmingly negative backlash.


A victory would be if Komen acknowledged that their decision was based in partisan politics and then actually decided to remedy the issue by removing executives who are pandering to political bases. A victory would be if they doubled or tripled their contribution to not just Planned Parenthood, but to the institutions who do life-saving stem cell research, from whom they recently pulled over $12MILLION in support. A victory would be if their fake apology didn’t at the same time justify their decision to defund Planned Parenthood as “right and fair.”

Just because Komen decided that it would be better to reverse their decision than risk absolving their business is not a victory. Stop congratulating them on doing what could still barely be considered “the right thing.” Nancy Brinker and the Board of Directors has rightfully earned public scorn and a loss in “donations” (revenue).

We cannot accept their about-face as a victory because we are doing a disservice to all of these other wonderful organizations that have never abandoned their commitment to saving lives. So, I’m begging you, don’t go have a drink to celebrate because Komen decided not to remain GIGANTIC asshats. Have a drink and prep for our next battle, because this is far from over.

3 Responses to “Why I refuse to call the Komen About-Face a Victory”

  1. Kirsten February 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    In my reading, folks seem to be calling this a partial victory, noting the Komen has only agreed that PP will remain “eligible” for future grants, not that they will get any. We’ll see how they walk that line in the months to come.

    But what I find more frustrating is that we are still not talking about the elephant in the room. The fact is that antis have successfully made Planned Parenthood synonymous with abortion in the minds of many. Happily, for many, many American women, their experience with Planned Parenthood is so much bigger than that, so the effort is ultimately unsuccessful.

    The fact remains that if Komen just decided to stop funding women’s health clinics that perform abortions without shaking the abortion stigma stick at a beloved institution like Planned Parenthood, they would have succeeded. Until women’s health advocates stop fearing the abortion stigma stick, and assert that abortion care IS a part of women’s health care, attacks like this, like the Stearns’ witch hunt in Congress, and state efforts to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds will continue.

  2. kate February 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    I agree Kirsten, unfortunately this assault on anything representing women’s ability to get healthcare exclusively for them without the approval of the finger waggers in our society has been going on for over thirty years. They have successfully moved abortion into the field of necessary healthcare for women and something that is within a women’s right, to a legendary symbol of hatred for women and hatred for women’s sexuality.

    In the days of Roe V. Wade people had vivid memories of hundreds of women dead due to illegal abortions or women in crisis situations with no hope of remedy.

    Unfortunately the memory of the American public is short and easily skewed with overtly misleading and misogynist messages. I think a lot of women felt that we had moved beyond Roe V. Wade once the Supreme Court made its ruling and they moved onto other things.

    Also the women’s movement has always been a movement of middle class white women, which while not bad on its face, has left out a whole contingent of women; the poor who are often more tied to family traditions and church doctrine than they are to their own rights as sovereign individuals. Unfortunately, it has been poor women who have been the hardest hit and the ones who have suffered the most dramatically under the draconian backlash against reproductive rights in the last thirty years.

    And that is where our fight needs to begin anew.


  1. Komen, Meet the Online Feminist Army | Abortion Gang - February 6, 2012

    […] No, Komen shouldn’t be congratulated for doing the right thing when all they did was damage control. Their statement wasn’t a victory for Planned Parenthood or for anyone, really. But the way things went down is victory in that an anti-choice power play failed miserably in the court of public opinion. As the election season heats up, the pro-choice movement just proved that we are not a paper tiger and that the public, when asked instead of told what to think, is on the side of women’s health. The GOP and the Democrats should heed this successful mass mobilization as a warning that we’re not to be trampled on and we’re not to be underestimated. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: