Susan G. Komen’s attack on Planned Parenthood cost Komen $77m, 22% of its income

Through much of 2012 we wrote about the Susan G. Komen Foundation and its political role in advancing a right-wing cause — killing funding for Planned Parenthood.

For background, check these:

What will progressives do about apparent right-wing “fog shops” like Komen?

“Welcome to Cancerland” — or What does Komen do with all that money?

Komen CEO Nancy Brinker’s life among the 0.1 percent

ThinkProgress: Ari Fleisher was secretly involved in Komen’s anti-Planned Parenthood strategy

Former Komen board member wants Brinker to quit

And for your edification and amusement (or earnest use):

Komen’s corporate sponsors (a list)

As you may know, Komen “owns” (literally) the iconic “Race for the Cure”, a series of branded (in the corporate sense) anti-breast cancer races. Komen pretends to be non-political, but at heart, they’re loyal-Bushie to the core, and their dabbling in anti-abortion politics proved it. Also, people noticed. Bad for Komen, but how bad?

Turns out there’s a price for messing up like this, for showing your anti-women teeth while pretending to be genteel-liberal to all the urban Democrats. There’s a price, and we now have the number. The excellent Michael Hiltzik at the LA Times has the story (my emphasis):

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation committed one of the great PR faux pas of the decade in January 2012, when it summarily cut off funding to Planned Parenthood in what appeared to be a bow to anti-abortion crusaders.

Now, with its release of its latest financial statements, the cost of that decision can be measured: It’s more than $77 million, or fully 22% of the foundation’s income. That’s how much less the Dallas-based foundation collected in contributions, sponsorships and entry fees for its sponsored races in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, compared with the previous year. The raw figures are these: In the most recent fiscal year Komen booked $270 million; the year before that, Komen booked $348 million.

Last year’s decline was a continuation of a slightly longer trend. In fiscal 2011 the organization collected $367 million. Komen officials are candid in attributing much of last year’s sharp decline to the Planned Parenthood controversy, though they also point to the general economic slump. Participation in the group’s signature Race for the Cure events is also down.

As Hiltzik noted later in the article, the self-outing political move (my phrase) “was a huge blunder” (his phrase). Indeed it was, if money is your measurable. I’m almost certain money is one of theirs.

Glad to see there’s justice in the world.


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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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