The Widdershins

Feminist Friday: The Moral Bankruptcy of the “Moral Majority”

Posted on: February 3, 2012

A symbol of hate?

We live in dangerous times, Widdershins. If you aren’t a woman of childbearing age, then you know one well – you may even be related to one or several. And if you aren’t a woman “of an uncertain age” (i.e., over forty), then you know more than one. And both groups of women face increasingly serious threats to their health care every day.

The latest attack comes from a disgraceful source: well-known anti-breast cancer group The Susan G. Komen Foundation, creator of the pink ribbon. I had heard that this group was not all it should be, from a feminist perspective; but what it did this week went beyond unsatisfactory and into truly heinous territory.

John D. Raffaelli, a Komen board member and Washington lobbyist, said Wednesday that the decision to cut off money to 17 of the 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates it had supported was made because of the fear that an investigation of Planned Parenthood by Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, would damage Komen’s credibility with donors.


…[T]he Komen board voted that all of its vendors and grantees must certify that they are not under investigation by federal, state or local authorities. But for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, being the target of partisan investigations is part of doing business. So Komen’s new rule effectively ended their long partnership and seemed to the health services provider an unacceptable betrayal of their common mission to save women’s lives.

Dawn Laguens, an executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said that Komen’s money had over the years underwritten breast cancer screenings for 170,000 women, some of whose lives were saved as a result. She said she had no sympathy for Komen’s attempt to mollify donors by ending its relationship with a controversial provider of women’s health services. Only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s expenditures go toward abortion services.

It seems that SGK may have mixed up the order of the events just a tad bit. You see, it wasn’t the rules that gave rise to the decision to cut off Planned Parenthood – it was the decision to cut off Planned Parenthood that gave rise to the rules.

…[N]ew reporting from the Atlantic reveals that Komen adopted the new guidelines to cut off Planned Parenthood. That effort was led by Komen President Elizabeth Thompson, who knew that Planned Parenthood was the only group that would be affected by the rule, and Karen Handel, Komen’s new senior vice president for public policy.

Handel, who came on board in April, is a former secretary of state in Georgia and a Republican activist who describes herself as a “pro-life Christian.” Handel ran for governor of Georgia on an anti-abortion platform, and was endorsed by Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. She wrote during her failed gubernatorial campaign that “since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.”

Disgusting, ain’t it? Why the f*ck are women like this allowed to run women’s health services organizations?!

While you ponder that question, I am going to do something I have possibly never done before now – I am going to favorably quote Michael Bloomberg, whiny elitist Republican Mayor of Noo Yawk City,  on this subject. (Hat tip to DYB in yesterday’s comments for this link.)

“Politics have no place in health care,” he said in a statement. “Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care. We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way.”

Mr. Bloomberg then highlighted his contribution on Twitter, posting a series of messages asking his followers to contribute to Planned Parenthood.

In addition, Bloomberg has pledged to match up to $250,000 in donations to Planned Parenthood. Well-done, sir, well-done. As of this writing, a mere 24 hours of donations have almost equaled the $700,000 that the Komen Foundation shamefully withdrew. And the reactions on social media have been overwhelmingly pro-Planned Parenthood – about 75% pro and 25% against. Thankfully, it seems that most Americans don’t take kindly to groups like “Americans United for Life” (the main group that has been pressuring the Foundation to withdraw its funding from Planned Parenthood) constantly attempting to actively hurt and kill women by denying them access to health care. In fact, most Americans seem to view the “moral majority” as morally bankrupt for doing so.

UPDATE! The Foundation has caved to the mass pressure – including political pressure from 22 Democratic politicians –  and reversed its decision. Thanks for everything you’ve done to help!!!

But what can you do, you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve got some activism for you!

  • First, you can add your name to this online letter supporting reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood. It’s really great.
  • Second, if you’ve ever donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, you can remove your name from their donor list here – or, you can give them a piece of your mind. (Thanks, Chatblu!)
  • Third, if you’ve got a buck or two to spare, please send it Planned Parenthood’s way. Don’t worry about that $35 minimum – there’s another “Any Amount” choice at the bottom.

Meanwhile, the Susan G. Komen Foundation is reeling over the kickback. (Rubs hands gleefully.)

Dr. Kathy Plesser, a Manhattan radiologist on the medical advisory board of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s New York chapter, said she plans to resign from her position unless Komen reverses its decision to pull grant money from Planned Parenthood.

“I’m a physician and my interest is women’s health, and I am disturbed by Komen’s decision because I am a very strong advocate for serving under-served women,” Plesser told The Huffington Post. “Eliminating this funding will mean there’s no place for these women to go. Where are these women to go to have a mammography? Do they not deserve to have mammography?”

With her decision, Plesser joins Komen’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, and the executive director of Komen’s Los Angeles County chapter, Deb Anthony, both of whom also resigned in protest.

My prediction? The pro-death movement will lose this one, big-time. It’s not quite the karma these hateful ignoramuses deserve – I would prefer that they all get put on an island together and have to live with the lack of health care they want to inflict on all women everywhere – but it’s a start, Widdershins, it’s a start.

This is an open thread. (I couldn’t resist this song from “Funny Face…” please excuse my snarky sense of humor. 😉 )


42 Responses to "Feminist Friday: The Moral Bankruptcy of the “Moral Majority”"

Damn I always up my KFC chicken consumption for the pink bucket that donates part of my purchase to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure…well not this year some one else is gonna get my money! I have had many friends very dear to me that have had breast breast cancer.

Why is it that I have a sneaky suspicion that this is not just an attack on women but poor women and minority women specifically?

I cannot believe some radical Georgia Pro Death person has been placed on the board wonder what Komen would have to say about that?

Madamab Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

In the aftermath of the 2008 election we heard so many disgruntled women insist that the only way to achieve parity was to vote strictly for any woman on any ticket. Party label and the issues hardly mattered: it was just vote for the woman and everything would change.

I remember being blasted for raising the question regarding the issues involved since I did not believe that an all out effort to elect women in and of itself was the answer. It had to reside in the issue itself. What did it offer femininism beyond gender?.

Thus we were treated to the supposition that Sarah Palin was a true “feminist” simply because she sought higher office. She was credited in part because she appointed a pro choice official to office even though she was faced with 2 pro choice officials to choose from which was not exactly a “profile in courage” or an absolute nod toward a feministic approach.

Along with Palin came Sharron Angle, Nikki Haley, Christine O’Donnell, Karen Handel and an assortment of Tea Party candidates, each running for higher office and each stating their opposition to female equality and reproductive rights.

But the degree of forcing those views onto the public never included how far and how deep their resolve when it came to Planned Parenthood itself. An organization devoted to women’s health that included breast examinations that would detect early stages of cancer in a disease that was always considered deadly.

This is not “feminism” by any means. This is hatred based on the twisted logic with religious fundamental underpinnings that threaten women and children. It is also at the hands of women themselves who promote this illogical action through politics.

What it really is is a brand of “evil doing” when lives are jeopardized by these politicians but even more so when backed and supported by women.

This stuff would not find itself creeping into the fabric of this nation without the help and support of women. This is the saddest rendering of all.

#3: Women are betraying women which is one of the most difficult things of all to accept.

Empathy, compassion, and concern for fellow human beings has all but disappeared from the public square.

The hatred of gays, women, seniors, the poor, along with the cry to curtail much needed health care benefits for everyone has all been overridden by this insane political agenda.

But by all means, let’s keep the ownership of automatic weapons designed for war, or the “protection” of a zygot granted “rights” to dominate the conversation instead.

Someone needs to explain to me why voting for anyone in the GOP is a “good thing”.

@3 You nailed it in your first sentence, Pat. They’re Judas goats.

@3> Yowza!!! Sure, “guns don’t kill people.” But breast cancer does! Maybe the Komen Foundation folks forgot that?

Pat, your post is right on. This is as big an example as one can that voting any woman into office misses the point entirely.

“There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.” Madeleine Albright.

@4. “Someone needs to explain to me why voting for anyone in the GOP is a ‘good thing’.”

And that person can also explain to *me* why voting for a Democrat who supported Stupakfied Obamacare is “a good thing.”

Being stabbed in the back, front, and sideways by members of one’s own party makes those so-called pro-choice Democrats, imo, worst than the Republicans. With their votes for that Obomination, my congressman and two senators, all of whom have a “D” after their name, became dead to me.

Roz in NJ/NYC

Sorry Roz, but included in this question are all elected offices both on statewide and national levels. It is not intended only for those running for POTUS.

The GOP candidates stand shoulder to shoulder as seen within their various platforms to prohibit the means for a woman to receive adequate healthcare and when denied this also puts her children and family at greater risk as well.

When a candidate considers a pregnancy resulting from rape and incest a “blessing” than we have lost sight of any sense of equality or humanity. Forcing a woman to bear an unwanted child or to forego cancer screening in light of someone else’s idea of religious practices seems to be solely within the GOP candidates agenda.

I am not excusing any party for acting against women, only that the Republican platform is devoted to obstructing women’s rights and say so loudly and proudly.

There are still Dems in office who fight back against this tide which is something that I have yet to hear one Republican candidate say or do.

Those in the GOP who recognize this affront remain silent hoping to gain points among those who promote this bias for political gains.

The fact that two women are fronting this obscene action makes it even worse to me too. For shame, ladies!

Minkoff Minx noted in her post last night that SGK also gives money to Penn State. So this rule against funding partners with federal investigations pending only seems to apply to Planned Parenthood. Child rapists seem not to offend their moral code as much as poor women needing health care.

Pat and Roz, I see both your points. The candidates for POTUS are both effectively pro-death. But at the state level, if you have more Dems in Congress, pro-death policies are less likely to pass. In some Southern States, however, it hardly matters even at that level.

@10 – Told ya they’d fold!!!! Awesome news. Will update the post!

Hot damn!!!!

But they still have a Susan G. Komen Foundation handgun!

had to share my Facebook post: to fire Ms. Handel the conservative that wanted to deny poor women and minorities access to breast exams provided by Planned Parenthood:

sadly they win either way they want to destroy this organization(the Susan G Komen Foundation) …Ms Handel doesn’t car one iota about helping women detect and prevent breast caner to her “cancer is a gift from GOD” and I think she really believes that. She wanted to stop women from having the opportunity to reject “Gods Gift” you can see it in her attitude and everything she does! I hope she is shown the door!

Just look at her stance on children conceived in Rape or incest….

@15 – Agreed 100%, Fuzzy. A person who publicly proclaims she wants to de-fund Planned Parenthood should never have been hired to set public policy for a women’s health advocacy organization. The moron who hired her should be fired too.

# 16: As an aside, this is the same woman running for office in GA who had the full support of Sarah “the Feminist” Palin behind her.

Another example of the sheer foolishness of women who write and push the idea that Palin is – or ever was – a “feminist”.

Any woman, no matter what political or religious stripe, who would stand in the way of her “sister” having the right to seek her own destiny or attend to her own physical needs, is a mean spirited bigot sell out.

For years we have had to stand by and fight against the male establishment making the rules and passing judgment. But to come up against women who would do the same is revolting.

I can’t express it any more strongly than this.

@11. “But at the state level, if you have more Dems in Congress, pro-death policies are less likely to pass.”

I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that Obamacare was passed when the Democrats were in charge of both Houses, with a huge majority in the House, and most of the members with a “D” after their name voted for it despite its anti-women/”pro-death” policies. So, exactly how does having more Democrats make this less likely to happen?

I do think that if we get rid of Obama and the so-called Democrats no longer have to toe the Obama line, they might start remembering what the party is supposed to stand for and go back to acting accordingly — though, unfortunately, a lot of the damage is already done.

Roz in NJ/NYC

Roz in NJ/NYC

I’m highly suspicious of their supposed “Reversal!” They never and I do mean NEVER anticipated the backlash they are getting for their decision.

All one has to do is look to see who is in the TOP spots in this organization and with these wing nuts in top decision making roles, what they were trying to accomplish. They fired their Democratic lobbyist and quickly hired a “Wing nut gunslinger” to replace her.

This was planned in advance but they overlooked one small thing….The reaction of millions of women to this assault on women’s health rights!

This is far from over.

Also…They claimed they did this because of a so-called “Investigation’ and that their charter states they are to cut off funds for any organization under “Investigation” but they didn’t cut the funding off from Penn State did they? Are they not under “Investigation” for their lack of action and cover up in shielding a pedophile? So…..Why didn’t they cut Penn State off?

This hypocrisy was just starting to gain traction in the media…Thanks to the INTERNET so i believe they had no choice but to reverse the decision on Planned parenthood.

The wording also seems suspicious…..

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 group said. “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,” the group said. – Komen reverses decision to stop Planned Parenthood funding

“Preserve their eligibility to APPLY FOR FUTURE GRANTS!”( <—-Therein lies the rub )

We ALL need to keep the pressure on and not let up. IMHO these folks will attempt this again when they "believe" the anger has subsided and the believe no one is watching!

#19: They have been after this opportunity for years.

They won’t quit until they become like The Shakers, a dying breed owing to more enlightenment and education in generations to come.

Crackpots who believe they are carrying out the wishes of some celestial being who no one can positively say exists.

Again, and I repeat, don’t want an abortion, don’t have one. But keep your hands off the rights of those who do.

It’s outrageous to think a group of fundies has captured the dialogue in this nation of diversity and is able to ram it down the throats of everybody else.

Wanting to jail the doctors, criminalize the women, and publish their names for a medical procedure that has nothing whatsoever to do with them is obscene and beyond any defense.

This is your current GOP on steroids.

@19 -Well said RD!! That’s why I like Fuzzy’s idea. Get the ones responsible fired.

Roz – I thought the words “state level” were clear. I meant state Congresses, not our wonderful federal Critters. I agree they are useless with Obama at the helm.

Here is part of the email I got from CREDO:

We will be watching Susan G. Komen for a Cure vigilantly, to ensure that this reversal is a meaningful one and not mere spin. The foundation has restored eligibility to Planned Parenthood for future grants. Komen must approve the Planned Parenthood applications for funding that it rejected under the politically motivated grant rules it just rescinded, not merely restore eligibility for funding in the future. And the board that made this horrendous decision in the first place is still in charge of the organization. Not only that, but radical anti-choice and anti-Planned Parenthood activist Karen Handel remains in her position as chief policy officer.

Please know, while we are declaring victory for now — not just for winning this battle but for the precedent set — we will fight back fiercely and immediately should Komen pursue a backdoor strategy to defund Planned Parenthood in the future.

RedDragon@19: Hey Red!! Good to see ya!

That’s great news, Fredster. Credo is on the right track! You can’t ever take your eyes off these fundies.

@1 Hi Fuzzy, and everybody. Of course it’s an attack on poor and minority women. People who have health insurance rarely use Planned Parenthood. I guess we could add “young” to the poor and minority.

I just got in from a daylong mental health law seminar. Many of us there have represented minors in judicial bypass hearings. (That’s where someone under 18 needs to terminate a pregnancy and needs a court order because she either chooses not to tell a parent or parents are unavailable,which is surprisingly often in poor families. As I said, who exactly do they think uses Planned Parenthood?!)

I can assure you the conversation was pretty lively,,,and we are uniformly disgusted with Komen’s behavior. As one woman said, they have shown their true colors and PP came out way ahead here.

as long as the current board, executive and, dare I say, the head of the organization remain in place (this would not have happened had she not agreed with the direction), this kind of guerilla warfare aimed at women will continue – they will just migrate to more devious under the radar tactics in future. Cut them off – if you donate do so directly to the groups that actually care about women’s health – not a political agenda and pinkwashing corporations. pink gun indeed!

Hi Red, have missed you. Hope all is well with you and the family!

@19: Great to see you again, Red.

@21. madamab, thanks for the clarification. I did find your wording confusing as you did say “Democrats in Congress,” which to me means the national body. When it comes to state level governance, the usual term is “legislatures.”

I do agree with you about the need for more pro-choice Democrats on the state level and still vote for those running to represent our district in NJ.

Roz in NJ/NYC

Great points, Back Bay. Many young poor girls use PP’s services, as well as their mothers. There seems to be a confusion in these fundie women’s brains about how to care for their sisters. Seems they think “certain types” of women deserve punishment instead of medical care.

HT – are you feeling better? How’s your shoulder?

Roz – yes, the pro-choice Dems in the state legs are much more like traditional Dems. Plus, we’ve seen what a mistake it is to elect a Republican governor. I’m sure you’re not a big fan of Chris Christie.

madamab, thanks for the concern. it’s coming – slowly but surely. another 3 weeks in the corset/velcro handcuff contraption, then a year of physio – oh joy! to top off this wonderful new year, my brother died last night, so i’m a bit of a wreck right now. i’m visiting here cause it redirects my pain to outrage and takes my mind momentarily in another direction, if that makes sense.

HT, I am so very sorry about your loss.

Oh HT! Sending you hugs!!!!

thank you for the empathy – it helps balance me.

HT, OMG. I’m so sorry to hear about your brother. Many hugs and dark chocolate to you!

@30: HT, I have always felt a special bond with you. Just one of those things that can’t be explained. I’m tearing up reading about the loss of your brother. Sending comfort and love your way. I hope you can feel it. XXXOOO.

thanks – i’m so fortunate that i found this community of caring people, it does really help particurlarly in difficult times, I loved my brother very much – he was brilliant yet stupid – mensa (literally) mixed with moron, 18 months apart, he was the youngest – we were like twins in the early years. my heart is broken but this too shall pass.
Beata, I feel the same about you.

@36 – HT, I don’t know what I’d do if I lost my brother. My sincerest condolences to you again. May you remember all the happy times and forget all the bad times.

My condolences, HT. I have a brother with whom I am extremely close, so I can imagine how emotionally painful your brother’s death is for you.

Roz in NJ/NYC

@29. madamab, I despised Corzine after he stole my vote for Hillary and gave it to Obama at the convention. So, I was not at all sorry that he was defeated for reelection. Of course, I’m not happy that Christie is our governor. Not a fan is too mild a description. I voted for the independent candidate Chris Daggett. It really surprised me that he was endorsed by the state’s largest newspaper, the Star-Ledger — not that that helped.

Both houses of the legislature are still controlled by the Democrats who are doing what they can to keep the damage Christie can do to a minimum. However, the NJ governorship is one of the most powerful, maybe *the* most powerful, in the country, so it’s no easy task.

Roz in NJ/NYC

{{{HT}}} I’m sorry for your trouble.

HT: So sorry to hear of your loss. Hugs to you.

HT, I’m sorry about your brother. I lost my 13-mos-older-than-me brother in ’87. I’m the youngest and we were as you said, like twins when younger. He’d have been 50 on Feb. 22. Time and memories, and good friends, help. {{HT}}

I’m never trusting Komen Fund(ie) again. Alternet has a nice expose. The thing about going after other fundraisers who use the word “cure” gave me and “Oh, hay-ul no” moment.

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