Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Did Komen Cave, or Didn't It?

What a difference 24 hours makes. Yesterday it looked like Komen for the Cure was well on its way to cutting all ties with Planned Parenthood. While I said that it was a step in the right direction, I didn't ignore that the cut wasn't complete either. Nor did I buy that they were telling the truth completely about why this change in direction.
Today it seems that rather than have the courage to follow through with the change, they may have caved in & reversed course. I say may because there is some huge debate as to what was really said in Komen's latest announcement.
1st the statement. The key part of the statement reads "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."
 (You can read the entire statement here or here)
So what has changed? Not much when you really look at it. 1st of all, they changed the criteria to say the disqualifying investigations must be criminal not political. Given the number of criminal investigations that Planned Parenthood is undergoing, they still seem to be in line to be disqualified. Of course, no matter how valid the investigation is, Planned Parenthood will label them political. As we have seen with the huge scandal in Kansas, Planned Parenthood isn't above using the politicians they own to sabatoge an investigation.
In part, the 3rd paragraph simply restates what I pointed out yesterday, that some current grants would continue for the time being. Beyond that, there was NO promise that Planned Parenthood would get any new grants. The last part of that paragraph would seem to say that PP still won't meet the new standard Komen said had to be met: "We’ve decided not to fund pass-through grants. What we would like is to have clinics where we can directly fund mammograms.” 
As has been pointed out, despite claims to the contrary, Planned Parenthood does NOT do mammograms. At best they simply refer women elsewhere for them. In between they do do a few  manual palpations. & of the 800,000 they do, only 34,000 (4.25%) of them are funding by Komen.  Once again we see how PP is inflating what it does to make it seem like they are doing more than they really are. Taking away what PP gets from Komen isn't about to have any real effect on the availability of breast exams at PP. Nor is it going to have the catastophic effect PP says it will on the availability of those exams to low-income women.
Additionally, as  Gerard Nadal points out "That’s substandard for low-income women, especially Black women, whose incidence of breast cancer is frightfully higher than any other demographic."  Once again we see the Planned Parenthood use of smoke & mirrors to make it look like they really care about women, when they don't. & given the racist roots of PP, that those appearances especially don't help black women should be no surprize either.
In another piece Nadal explains the reason why what PP does is substandard.  When most people hear “breast screening” or “breast cancer screening” they think of mammograms. That is why PP uses those terms now instead of saying they provide mammograms. Remember, they stopped using that term after it came out that NO PP site did them & at best only refered women elsewhere. What they occasionally do is the afore mentioned "manual palpations". As Nadal explains: "PP’s screening is a palpation of the breast, checking for detectable lumps. So, yes, if a lump is detected, and if the lump is cancerous, that could be lifesaving. But if no lump is detected? Is the woman given a referral for a mammogram?" Nadal goes on to add "It is the mammogram that is essential."
"A woman’s best chances at beating her cancer are when the cancer is found through mammography before it is large enough to be palpated, or found through mammography in women whose breast density make it difficult to detect by palpation." Even worse,  "By funding PP, Komen funded the abortions that lead to increased risk of breast cancer, the distribution of oral contraceptives which are well known to cause breast cancer, and the lie that women were receiving mammograms."
So, did Komen cave in to Planned Parenthood & their cronies, or not?
Maybe???? Maybe not????
Given all the above mentioned facts about what PP does or doesn't do, under the new standards it looks like they still are very unlikely to be elligible for future funds from Komen.
Komen board member John Raffaelli says they didn't. He told the Washington Post that the new announcement doesn’t necessarily mean there is any reversal until & unless Planned Parenthood receives additional funding beyond what was already planned before Komen’s December decision. If you define not caving by not automaticly giving PP more money than Komen didn't cave, for now. Raffaelli's statement doesn't guarentee that Komen won't cave in the future however.   
Thomas Peters says over at his blog that Komen didn't cave. That the statement is simply more nuanced & done in a way that appeases some of their most vitriolic critics, all in an effort to beg for space and a break from the incessant threat by liberal elites and attacks by the mainstream media. Given the scoarched earth tactics used by PP & their allies, what he says makes sense.
 Peters then goes on to take a good look at Planned Parenthood's tactics in response to Komen's new policy that cut off the few bucks they were getting from Komen. Before I get into what Peters said, I want to remind you that I pointed out yesterday that it was PP that broke the story & that this was PP's way of threatening groups that may cut ties with them.
Peters shares what WSJ columnist James Taranto said about those tactics. He describes what is happening to Komen as a mafia shakedown: "Planned Parenthood’s bitter campaign against Komen–aided by left-liberal activists and media–is analogous to a protection racket: Nice charity you’ve got there. It’d be a shame if anything happened to it. The message to other Planned Parenthood donors is that if they don’t play nice and keep coughing up the cash, they’ll get the Komen treatment.There’s one crucial difference, however. In a real-life protection racket, the victim never pays voluntarily. The threat is present from the get-go. By contrast, Komen presumably was not under any duress when it made its grants–and it could have avoided all this nasty publicity by never dealing with Planned Parenthood in the first place.
Thus smart prospective donors–especially ones that are apolitical, like Komen–are getting the message that supporting Planned Parenthood is a trap. Give once, and you will give again–or else you will pay."
I couldn't agree more. In fact, I would go one better & call for some DA to do his or her job & look into whether what PP & their allies is doing does violate RICO laws. & that includes the News media as well. (More on those aiding PP in their shakedown herehere, here, here, & here among way too many stories.)
Peters points out another fact, "if Planned Parenthood is so serious about protecting women’s health, how does it justify leading a crusade to destroy the world’s leading breast cancer research foundation over these past days??" It can't, although if confronted, I am sure Planned Parenthood would come up with some bogus excuse making it sound like Komen was out to destroy them.
Peters then points out some consequences of what happenned that won't help PP in the long run. "Over the past 48 hours, not only did Planned Parenthood reveal itself as willing to seriously damage and attempt to destroy the pro-woman Komen foundation, but also, thousands and millions of people potentially learned for the first time that Komen doesn’t believe Planned Parenthood is an ideal provider of health care for women. So even if Planned Parenthood wins this battle (an outcome very much in doubt), I would argue they have seriously weakened themselves for the wars ahead. This will be a long fight, so take the long view."
This whole thing did some serious damage to the picture that PP has tries to paint of itself, that they are mainly about women's health care not abortion.  More people are going to be aware that PP does even less than it claims when it comes to fighting breast cancer. You can be sure more people are asking "If PP does such a great job of ensuring women get the best possible care when it comes to fighting breast cancer why did Komen put in a policy that ensures PP doesn't get funds to do so?" Then as they look they will see how PP's façade is collapsing. They don't do mammograms, which is what most people think of when they hear the terms  “breast screening” or “breast cancer screening”. they do very few breast exams & they don't do much to ensure women do get access to the needed mammograms. (Besides the articles by Nadal linked to above see also here for more.)
Additionally, this is bringing unwanted attention to the link between both abortion & birth control & cancer. (The 2nd Nadal  piece has more on the links) Granted, Planned Parenthood & others who promote this deny or downplay the links. But they are there. & more people will become aware of those facts. As they do, they will question PP's claims about their providing women's health care even more.
Others feel that Komen has caved. Newsbuster's Brent Bozell said that "Komen hasn't bent to political pressure from Planned Parenthood and its left-wing political allies - they've snapped like a toothpick."
2 Pro-life members of Congress feel the same way.
Congresswoman Renee Ellmers of Washington released the following statement: “I am deeply disappointed in the sudden reversal by the Komen Foundation of their original pledge to cut ties with Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion provider. Their original stance to stop funding pending an important congressional investigation was an act of courage and prudence, making their sudden reversal today appear hollow and weak.”
As a nurse and mother, I will continue to champion the sanctity of life and women’s health, regardless of contemporary trends…and sometimes that takes the courage to do what is right, not what is convenient.”
Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, wasn't happy with the announcement either.“I’m extremely disappointed in Komen’s decision to restore Planned Parenthood’s eligibility for funding. While Komen now claims that they don’t want their mission to be ‘marred by politics,’ unfortunately it seems that Komen caved to political pressure from the pro-abortion movement and its enforcers in the media.”
There are millions of pro-life Americans who support Komen’s work in breast cancer research, prevention and education. By providing funds to the nation’s leading abortion provider – which does not even provide mammograms – Komen is asking its supporters who care about protecting the unborn to violate their own consciences.
Some Pro-life leaders also feel that way.
 Sandy Rios, vice president of Family-Pac Federal said the organization was clearly pressured by lawmakers. "They are being pressured in every way. We are witnessing an absolute shakedown of an organization that simply wants to save the lives of women through cancer research."
& Planned Parenthood has declared victory. & in doing so has continued to spread the above pointed out misinformation: "The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation reversed its decision and continues to fund breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood health centers.
The outpouring of support online for Planned Parenthood and women in need of breast cancer screenings has been nothing short of astonishing, and because of it, the Planned Parenthood Breast Health Fund has received more than $3 million from thousands of people across the country in only three days.
(It sounds to me like this has more than made up for the amount they got from Komen. But that didn't stop Planned Parenthood from trying to destroy Komen if they didn't give in to PP's threats. It also shows that it is greed that is a huge motive for PP's actions as well.
Every dollar we received for this fund will go directly for breast exams and diagnostic services, as well as breast health outreach and education. And now that the Komen Foundation plans to continue their support, even more women will receive lifesaving breast cancer care." (emphasis mine)
Naturally House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi applauded the move. Once again we see how she is anything but the "ardent Catholic" she claims to be. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called it a "huge win" for women. She was one of the 26 U.S. senators who had written Komen urging the group to reconsider its decision.
Some Pro-life groups & leaders say it is unclear if they did or didn't cave.
Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest called this latest action "unfortunate."
"As a breast cancer survivor, I am troubled that the Komen Foundation has come under such heavy fire for their recent decision to tighten and focus their funding guidelines." She went on to call the backlash "an ugly and disgraceful shakedown that highlights Planned Parenthood's willingness to pursue a scorched-earth strategy to force compliance with their pro-abortion agenda."
Yoest concluded with, “It is unfortunate that donors to the Susan G. Komen Foundation are now confused about their association with the nation’s largest abortion provider."
She added that the congressional investigation by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., was "substantive."
Stearns has said that the investigation will go on & that the donations pouring into Planned Parenthood over the Komen decision show the group does not need Komen funding.
Family Research Council Director for the Center for Human Dignity Jeanne Monahan had this to say. “The Susan G Komen Foundation made two policy changes this week to ensure money would be better spent to save women’s lives. The first policy change ensured that grants are more directly focused on results. Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms. The second new requirement is that Komen will not award money to organizations that are under federal investigation. Both of these policy decisions ensure money would be better spent to save women’s lives while also making Susan G. Komen abortion-neutral.”
It would be heartbreaking for women who suffer from breast cancer if Planned Parenthood has bullied Komen into loosening their higher standards. Women deserve the best. Komen should stay focused on saving lives, not supporting the nation’s largest abortion provider.”
 “It is truly unbelievable that the nation’s largest abortion provider has been able to take what has been considered one of America’s most well respected and beloved organizations and demonize it overnight for simply making their grants results-oriented. Planned Parenthood is putting their abortion ideology above the health of women,” concluded Monahan.”
Jill Stanek said "we do not yet know whether Komen actually did or didn’t capitulate to Planned Parenthood." & that "It may be a year before we find out – when Komen issues new grants or reissues old ones – although it may be sooner. I’ve read of one Komen affiliate offering a grant to a local Planned Parenthood that never even got one before. That’s how crazy this situation has gotten."
In an earlier post she said "This statement represents nothing new. Komen and CEO Nancy Brinker had already stated they would continue to fund Planned Parenthood’s existing grants through 2012 (one through 2013). Brinker told Andrew Mitchell that number was three. Other reports and my source say the number is five."
She added "This is Komen’s attempt to get the abortion mafia off their backs. Planned Parenthood and its thugs have engaged in typical shakedown: Give us money or we will destroy you.
Be savvy. Nothing has changed. Komen is merely trying to to get some breathing room."
In an update on that post Jill said "The more I read Komen’s statement, the more brilliant it becomes. Planned Parenthood loses its PR edge if any of its affiliates are convicted on criminal grounds."
Did you notice 1 common theme from the Pro-life side despite their feeling about if Komen did or didn't cave? Every one described it in the same way WSJ columnist James Taranto did. Maybe not in the exact same words, but the same sentiment is there, that this shakedown like that of the mafia.
Jill also reports that some of those on the Pro-abort side aren't so sure Planned Parenthood won either. Mother Jones said "Given what Komen officials have said about their new standards requiring direct services, Friday’s letter leaves one big question—whether Planned Parenthood meets Komen’s criteria for future grants—still unresolved."
Will Neville at RH Reality Check (RH stands for Reproductive Health, the euphemism for abortion often used to mislead): "Whether the Komen Foundation’s statement dos in fact signal a reversal of its policy towards Planned Parenthood remains to be seen. It is entirely possible that they intend to fund Planned Parenthood cancer screening services in the future, and we hope they do. It is equally possible that this is simply a public relations move designed to diffuse a lucrative brand from spiraling out of control – and the Komen Foundation will quietly reject future grant proposals from Planned Parenthood once they are out of the media spotlight."
HufPo: "To be clear, Komen’s apology is not a promise to renew Planned Parenthood grants. It’s a promise to “continue to fund existing grants” to the organization – which it was already planning on doing – and to make it eligible for future grants. At no point in the press release does Brinker promise that Komen will renew grants to Planned Parenthood."
Washington Post had an article by Greg Sargent entitled "Komen caved. Or did it?" He said this about the announcement: "The question now is what its announcement actually means."
For now I suggest a wait & see attitude. Komen's actions will speak louder than words. If PP gets some new grants then we will know it has caved. If they don't & the few remaining ones are not renewed when they expire then we will know Komen is walking away from PP & their shakedown failed. Tom Peters said we should "support Komen in their bid to cut Planned Parenthood out of their funding streams." He suggests 3 things to do so.
1) email and say “Thank You for Defunding Planned Parenthood” and promise to buy products bearing the pink ribbon. Encourage them directly in other ways.
2) sign the petition at (this is not an effort to harvest emails, you only have to supply your name and location) and invite your family and friends to do the same.
3) blog/facebook/tweet/email/write op-eds about this. Get the word out any way you know how.
I'm not so sure about giving money yet. & so is Jill Stanek. She said  "Because we do not yet know whether Komen actually did or didn’t capitulate to Planned Parenthood, pro-lifers should again withhold donations, IMO. I might even try to get my money back." Other Pro-life leaders suggest a wait for now stance as well.
What you might want to do is email Komen & let them know you encourage them not to cave. Let them know that their actions will determine future financial support, direct or indirect.
Peters suggests 1 other action as well, "keep the focus on Planned Parenthood‘s hypocrisy and lies." I have pointed out a few of them above. Many Pro-life groups like Live Action & American Life League's STOPP provide great resources as well. LifeNews & LifeSiteNews regularly have stories that provide ammo as well. Share these stories, blog about them, post them on your Facebook page, write letters to the editor for your local paper, etc. Steve Ertelt of Life News was right when he called Planned Parenthood Public Enemy #1!!!!! & the public must be made aware of this fact.

One aside, in the post yesterday I mentioned that VP Biden had thrown a hissie fit over the news about Komen & PP. Well, it turns out to NOT be true. So I, among many others, was wrong. Still, even after finding out the tweet was false, I will say that it is entirely plausable that he could do something like that.

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  • At 4/2/12 2:14 PM , Blogger Helen said...

    At least now more people are aware of Komen's attachments to PP. Had to be a rude awakening for some. Maybe they'll think twice before donating to Komen again because they can never be positive that their money's going to be used for a good purpose like Breast Cancer research or to PP's abortion business.


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