Five high-ranking executives of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer foundation have resigned from their positions since the aftermath of the organization’s decision to eliminate its funding for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), which it later reversed and restored. Komen spokesperson Leslie Aun shared the following in response to inquiries about the resignations.
“Obviously, we know some folks are upset. We’ve certainly seen that,” Aun stated. “We know people have been upset by the recent events, but most really do recognize the importance of our work.”
Indeed, Komen has invested more than 1.9 billion in breast cancer research and activism. It’s currently the largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, working together to save lives, empower people, fight for quality healthcare, and support scientists pursuing breast cancer cures.
Point blank, Komen has been there for countless women, many of who were shocked to hear it would even consider defunding Planned Parenthood. But nonetheless, a controversial and unpopular decision doesn’t take away the fact that Komen has empowered and assisted women and families all over the world battling breast cancer. And for that reason alone, perhaps we should consider the path of forgiveness.
As Planned Parenthood’s funding stands restored by Komen due to intense supporter and media backlash, there are still large amounts of women battling breast cancer that depend on Komen. I remember when my mother was battling breast cancer before it took her life in 1993. The treatment opportunities are better for contemporary breast cancer fighters compared to options that she had to choose from. And I credit those improvements to organizations like Komen who have relentlessly invested in breast cancer research while empowering those affected by the disease.
Of course, I was disappointed to hear that Komen chose to defund Planned Parenthood, as I also support PPFA for the impact that it’s made in providing excellent healthcare for women across the country. But women’s organizations, particularly in the field of healthcare, need the support of women now more than ever, as women’s healthcare continues to take the forefront in legislative battles across the United States.
Komen is still a major force in women’s health care on a global scale, and one mistake does not make a horrible organization. Can we criticize them when they make bad decisions that impact women’s access to healthcare? Absolutely. But we also shouldn’t ignore all of their accomplishments, both in the past and present.
If Komen stays on track to raise and invest millions more in breast cancer research, support a powerful network of breast cancer survivors and activists, and doesn’t have any additional lapses in judgment, perhaps they deserve our forgiveness. They certainly wouldn’t be the first organization to ever make a mistake. After all, humans run Komen.
Do you still support Komen after the Planned Parenthood defunding controversy? Drop your thoughts.