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JWA's Greatest Hits: Why I no longer support Susan G. Komen

It is with a heavy heart and an angry mind, that I have raised and donated my last dollar for Komen. I served on the Komen Board for 6 years, and Komen has been near and dear to me and our family in our fight against breast cancer. The stand that Komen National has taken on Planned Parenthood is not only misguided, but--contrary to their stated remarks-- is political, or at the very least, gives the impression of being political.

Nancy Komen Brinker, the founder and current head of Komen, is a friend of George and Laura Bush and was an ambassador named by Bush. While I knew this fact in the past, I had always felt that the organization respected its 501(c)(3) status as a non-partisan organization. I no longer believe this.

Komen surely should become one of those organizations that any progressive stays far away from--if we truly believe that breast cancer affects women on both sides of the aisle and that the possibilities for cures should extend across the aisle as well. I know we will all find other ways to fight breast cancer together to end this terrible disease.

In sadness, and yet, in fighting spirit,


Eve Ellis is a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. A Certified Financial Planner and Certified Investment Management Analyst, she is one of fewer than 200 Chartered Advisors in Philanthropy in the nation, offering investment advisory services to nonprofit organizations and endowments as well as to philanthropic individuals and families. Eve is also a member of the Jewish Women's Archive Investment Committee. See her full bio here.

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These people rail against abortion, however are amazingly unwilling to fund care for the actual unwanted infants born as well as certainly don't want to take up any of them! The work that Planned Parenthood has done for women of all ages as well as backrounds has become a blessing straight from Paradise. To create this a political football is unconscionable! What exactly happened in order to "Love thy neighbor"? Analyze your own consciences, Republican supporters. You may not want to deprive your own sisters connected with needed medical tests as well as care?

As someone who has for years been concerned with "Komen the Brand" it is with both relief and admiration that I thank you for stepping up and speaking out. 50 years ago 1 in 22 woman could expect a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime. Today that number stands at 1 in 8. While our 5 year survival rates have improved, our overall survival rates are nearly unchanged. The most generous crunching of numbers shows that Komen allocates less then 20% of donations "for the Cure." Komen has not been doing what we as cancer survivors have needed for a very long time. Personally, I believe that the only thing that has changed is that the public caught a glimpse of it this time.

If Komen is to survive, it will be thanks to you and others from the inside who speak out and demand change. THANK YOU!

Clearly, women's lives have officially taken a backseat to Komen's emerging political agenda. Komen has, despite repeated denials, cut funding to stem cell research:

I agree with everything Eve has written, except this: "...or at the very least, gives the impression of being political."

It IS political, so stop equivocating. Proof? Koman quietly ended all grants related to stem cell research back in November. Both actions are NOT an "impression," but a very real political action.

I just wanted to clarify the issues raised by one of the comments. Komen for the Cure does, in fact, continue to support stem cell research. And I do, in fact, believe strongly that the defunding decision was political. Feel free to read and comment on my follow-up since the reversal on Huff Po.

I am very disappointed that your organization chose to be political and ignore it's real mission. Breast Cancer: Research and helping women receive care. I will find new ways to donate my money and services.

There is a war against women going on, in case some of you haven't noticed it. Women's reproductive rights are being threatened - yet again - by the right wing zealots who believe that a woman's place is in the home, barefoot and pregnant. They rail against abortion, yet are amazingly unwilling to fund care for the unwanted babies born and certainly don't want to adopt any of them! The work that Planned Parenthood has done for women of all ages and races has been a blessing straight from Heaven. To make this a political football is unconscionable! What happened to "Love thy neighbor"? Examine your consciences, Republican supporters. Do you really want to deprive your sisters of needed medical tests and care?

Just because somebody is against abortion doesn't mean that they should also pay for an unwanted child.

So much for women being accountable for their own reproductive choices, or lack thereof.

As my grandmother might have said, this is a shonda! It's a terribly misguided and shameful step from Komen. Its challenging enough for so many women in today's economy. So to have this action, which amounts to an attack from one women's organization to another is quite sad, let alone potentially devastating to many women in need of these services.

Susan Komen's official statement on why they de-funded Planned Parenthood is unconvincing. Sadly, I won't be donating to them anymore.

Mother Jones Magazine agrees that this was a political decision. For an overview of Komen Founder Nancy Brinker's political involvement, go here:


Please take the opportunity to sign the petition circulated by Planned Parenthood to let this organization that so many of us have so long supported that we stand with all women. Thank you for posting about this.</>

Congratulations for taking a principled, sound stand on the organization's decision to defund Planned Parenthood. I hope many more individuals will take your lead. It is obvious the organization has decided to take a political tone. I will also refuse to participate in any more fundraisers for the group.

Thank you for taking a stand.

Eve speaks for us all -- thank you!

Thank you for raising your voice and shutting your wallet. Just shared this post on all my social media sites to add to the chorus of people who support reproductive justice who are not afraid to step up and take action. We are powerful. Trust women. Barbara Glickstein

Eve Ellis
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JWA contributor Eve Ellis.

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How to cite this page

Ellis, Eve. "JWA's Greatest Hits: Why I no longer support Susan G. Komen." 1 February 2012. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on December 12, 2018) <>.


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