The Susan G. Komen for the Cure shook up its top leadership Wednesday by announcing the resignation of its president and shifting role for its CEO and founder. Two members of its Board of Directors also announced their resignations.It was in February of this year that Komen announced a shocking reversal of its long-standing policy of funding breast cancer screening and awareness at Planned Parenthood. Its original explanation for the decision was pure politics:
Komen President Liz Thompson announced plans to leave the organization in September. Meanwhile, Komen Founder and CEO Nancy Brinker will shift to a new management role as chair of the Komen Board Executive Commiittee when the search for a new senior executive is finished.
Komen says the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress — a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups.That "investigation" was nothing more than a smear job by Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns, as part of an ongoing attempt by House Republicans to shut down Planned Parenthood. To date, Stearns has yet to announce any findings of wrongdoing.
What followed was nothing short of amazing. Boycots, threats and outrage led the foundation, only days later, to issue an apology—of sorts—for its decision.
It was obvious to all that Komen had caved to pressure from the anti-choice movement, including anti-choicers within its own organization—led by Karen Handel, the foundation's senior vice president of public policy, who boasted that she was "staunchly and unequivocally pro-life." Handel even joined anti-choicers on Twitter who taunted women, retweeting someone telling women to "cry me a river," only to then delete it when she was blasted for it.
Handel was forced to resign within the week.
But the outrage didn't stop there. Komen had all but destroyed its brand, with women refusing to purchase its pink products or participate in its fundraisers. Members of the organization resigned in disgust at the politicization of women's health care. Democratic senators blasted the decision, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a matching gift of $250,000 directly to Planned Parenthood.
And now Nancy Brinker, the founder, president and CEO of Komen, is out. As well she should be.
Oh, and Nancy? Cry me a river.