Seeing Red Over Pink

The Komen Foundation’s public rationale for defunding lifesaving services at Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the country, as summed up by the press, “is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress—a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups.”

According to Komen’s spokesperson, the charity’s new policy bars grants to organizations that are under such investigations. Specifically, Komen has decided to sever financial ties if a grant applicant or any of its affiliates is “currently under a local, state or federal formal investigation for financial or administrative impropriety or fraud.”

When the money flows out of Komen to clinics to pay for mammograms and other screenings, Komen has decided to rely on the existence of an “investigation”–meritorious or not, politically motivated or not–to justify its defunding.

With respect to the money flowing in to Komen?

That’s a whole other story.

Take, for example, Bank of America, a Komen “corporate partner”:

Bank of America and Susan G. Komen™ are proud to have partnered to bring an end to breast cancer. Like the millions of mothers, daughters, families and friends who have been affected by this disease, we want to work together to put an end to this disease. From February 2012 to May 2015, Bank of America is guaranteeing a minimum of $1,000,000 to Susan G. Komen™ in conjunction with its Pink Ribbon Banking products. Since 2009, Bank of America has contributed more than $2.7 million to Susan G. Komen™ in conjunction with this program.

Yes, that’s the same Bank of America that is “currently under a local, state or federal formal investigation for financial or administrative impropriety or fraud.” Here’s a sampling of what Bank of America is facing:

  • In New York, Bank of America is being investigated for “fraudulently steered homeowners into overpriced insurance policies.”
  • In California and Nevada, Bank of America is under investigation for “foreclosure fraud and other wrongdoing in the mortgage markets, including the packaging and selling of mortgage-backed securities by Wall Street players and scams by smaller players offering to help troubled borrower.”
  • In Arizona, Bank of America is under investigation for its loan modification practices.
  • And, of course,  the federal government’s new mortgage crisis unit will be investigating Bank of America’s conduct leading up to the real estate crisis.

To sum up, Komen is perfectly content with accepting millions from an entity under investigation for fraud across the country but when it comes to dispensing a portion of those and other funds to an entity that saves lives but that’s facing a sham of an investigation, Komen draws the line.

Now it’s your turn to draw a line as well.

Georgia Logothetis

Georgia Logothetis

Georgia Logothetis is a contributing editor at Daily Kos.  She writes frequently about politics and was director of new media in 2009 for the U.S. Senate campaign of Alexi Giannoulias, an Illinois Democrat who lost to Republican Mark Kirk.

One Comment
  1. This is a hot topic it seems.  On the one hand, SGK is a private foundation and may do as it wishes with it’s resources.  BUT:  since the ‘investigation’ is obviously a pointed political investigation by the right wing, it’s a bit disingenuous to drop funding on that premise.  I am also given to understand that only about 40% of the contributions to SGK actually gets to a charity as designated.
    Planned Parenthood provides services to poor woman or those who currently don’t havc insurance coverage for many screening services as well as non-abortion birth control.  And stopping those services period seems to be the real mission of that investigation to me.  I say give your SGK donations directly to Planned Parenthood to blow the smoke and mirrors away and take a rest from all those walks.

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