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“I am off to feed my daughter (with breasts that were examined by Planned Parenthood doctors when I had no health insurance).”—A young mom in Minnesota posted this on Gloria Feldt’s Facebook page after the news the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation had bowed to political pressure and announced it would stop funding Planned Parenthood. Interestingly, Facebook displayed an ad featuring Cynthia Nixon, the lead actor in the Broadway drama about breast cancer, Wit, right there next to Allie’s comment. “Nixon’s bald head and gaunt face shocked the breath out of me,” Feldt writes in Newsweek, “while social media exploded with the wrath of millions of women who felt scorned by a charity for which they had raced and purchased pink products they didn’t need.”
Quote of the Day
John Scalzi on the Komen Debacle:
“Leaving out any direct issues of morality or politics (I know, I know, go with me for a minute here), what’s basically happened is that on account of $700,000 worth of grants, the Susan G. Komen Foundation in just one week wrecked a billion-dollar brand identity that took decades to develop. Solely from the point of view of policy and brand strategy, it’s impressive in an entirely horrifying way.”
“I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it. I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen's future and the women we serve.”—Susan G. Komen for the Cure Vice President for Public Policy Karen Handel • Resigning, and admitting her role in the Planned Parenthood saga that led to a high-profile reversal last week. Handel was long the target of criticism, as she had previously run for office in Georgia on an anti-Planned Parenthood platform. The statement is Handel’s first public statement on the matter; Komen’s founder and CEO, Nancy Brinker, had previously claimed Handel hadn’t played a major role in the saga. Though the policy decision predated her, Handel’s own words, and her continuing decision to support the policy, refute that. EDIT: A fuller quote from the letter tells a slightly different story. Read the letter here.
Announcement: We won an award from Planned Parenthood!
And by “we,” I mean all of us who have contributed stories to this blog. That’s right, Planned Parenthood gave their first-ever social media Maggie Award to us today! I went to the awards luncheon in Washington, DC, and here’s what I said:
First, thank you Planned Parenthood, not only for your health care and advocacy, but for championing women without fail, with what seems like without compromise. That’s rare in our political climate. Planned Parenthood has successfully negotiated that emotional connection we all feel to the work they do, whether that’s through their clinics or their advocacy, and turned it into a relationship. They’ve embraced social media, both their own properties and the wider world’s conversations.
But also, I’m sharing this award with all the women who shared their stories on Planned Parenthood Saved Me. It’s a crying shame that we live in a world where this is an act of bravery, but that’s what it was. The women that said, “I would have bled to death if it weren’t Planned Parenthood,” or “Planned Parenthood’s staff were the only people who understood me after I was assaulted,” or “Planned Parenthood found my cancer.” That’s what you do. That is your work, and we thank you.
Which is the last thing I want to share– I really want people to understand that PP Saved Me blew up not because Rachel Maddow read from it on her show, or that it was in the Washington Post and a dozen other major major outlets. More than half the traffic to the site came before any major media mention, and that traffic came from Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr.
Women sharing their stories with one another made the difference her. Our stories matter, more than ever.
I’m not just blowin’ smoke when I say this is our award, either. You all have been incredible, and I got choked up on stage talking about your bravery and excellence. Thank you, deeply, for your commitment and contributions. If I could hug you all, I would.