Komen’s Nancy Brinker takes new role; had said she ‘made mistakes’ with Planned Parenthood move

JONATHAN ERNST REUTERS Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Nancy Brinker attends a White House dinner in March 2011. Susan … Continued



Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Nancy Brinker attends a White House dinner in March 2011.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced leadership changes Wednesday evening, including a new role for its embattled CEO and founder, Nancy Brinker, who reportedly will now be chair of the Komen Board Executive Committee..

Brinker was at the center of a public relations firestorm earlier this year when the organization announced it would no longer support breast cancer screening grants for Planned Parenthood. The organization later reversed that decision after a public outcry.

After Brinker announced the decision to stop the funding, On Faith published an open letter from columnist Sally Quinn, expressing surprise with the decision and noting the stress that Brinker was under at the time.

“It is clear … that you were under enormous political pressure — and had been for some years — from conservative donors to cut your ties to Planned Parenthood,” Quinn wrote.  “This was because some of its money (about 3%) goes to fund abortions. Nevermind that of the $680,000 or so given to Planned Parenthood last year by your organization, not one penny went toward abortion. It was targeted to breast cancer screening for low-income and uninsured women. In the past five years Planned Parenthood has, with your funds, been able to provide 170,000 breast exams and thousands of referrals.

 “Surely you must have been shocked by the backlash. But what did you expect?” 

The full text of Quinn’s letter is here..

After the decision was reversed, in her first public statement, Brinker responded to Quinn:

“I’ve seen many commentators suggest that the swift reaction to our decision is an indicator of something larger and more dangerous in our society — culture wars, if you will, or the feeling that women’s health care is being sacrificed on the altar of political ideologies.  If I have learned nothing else from our experience of the past week, it is that we in women’s health organizations must be absolutely true to our core missions, and avoid even the appearance of bias or judgment in our decisions.

“I made some mistakes.  In retrospect, we have learned a lot and  must now rebuild the trust that so many want to have in us, and respond to the many thousands who continue to believe in our mission and do what we do best: the funding of cutting-edge science and to bring that work to our communities to help the hundreds of thousands of women we serve each year.”

The full text of Brinker’s reply can be found here..


    She destroyed the Susan G. Komen Foundation forever.

    So, mission accomplished right-wing ideologue woman! Fewer women will be able to get mammograms, more women will get breast cancer and those pink ribbons are just little rags.

  • bstanton1

    Yup, that was the plan all along. You read it perfectly without a shred of bias.

  • amelia45

    I do not know if changing Brinker’s role a the Komen Foundation was really necessary. I was one of those very angry about her move to stop funding Planned Parenthood’s work in breast exams and screenings. However, I genuinely believe she got the message. I didn’t participate in any funding this year with the intention of making a contribution next year – if they didn’t screw up again. When are we going to allow those who make a mistake to have a second chance?

  • quiensabe

    To quote you, Sally, “What did [she] expect?” And do you expect conservatives who believe the killing of children in the womb should be funded? A Cultural War? How about just right v wrong?

    And, what is Brinker’s mission? Curing breast cancer or aborting babies? What about the statistics that women who have had abortions have higher breast cancer rates? Looks like Brinker is having a bout of conscience and you’re not helping her by pushing her further into something that by all indications she knows is wrong.

    So, only 3% of the contributions go toward abortions? So 3% of the 40 million babies killed since Roe v Wade is 12 million. Who is responsible for this?

  • sherylkhussey

    I will no longer donate to Komen and have doubled my contributions to Planned Parenthood.

    All women should have access to mammograms and the available, affordable health care of their choice.

  • di89

    Mammograms do not prevent breast cancer. This misleading implication (at best) or outright lie (at worst) is the biggest bunch of hooey out there since someone told us getting a little ID card for your kid and putting a pouch with their fingerprints and a spit sample in the freezer would protect them from predators.

    And yes, those pink ribbons ARE just little rags. Little guilt-tripping, corporate money grabbing rags, coopted by Yoplait and blender companies and everything but hard liquor and cigarettes (and they’d do it if they could).

    Frankly I think a lot of women are sick to death of Komen and the pinkwashing of America–women on both sides of the abortion & contraceptive debate–and were glad some excuse came along to make it OK to tell Komen to go jump in the lake.

    Countdown to being told I’m heartless, three two one…

  • tz12341

    The answer seems so simple…write two seperate checks…one to PP and one to the komen foundation…then the komen foundation could collect funding from pro-lifers as well as pro-abortion. But Sally and the washington post don’t want that because it would stigmatize PP and abortion…and we can’t make judgements about an organization that burns, poisons and dismembers 400,000 childern each year. They would rather not recieve any money from people who value the health of mothers and the life of childern.

  • CCD Teacher

    I disagree. It was a mistake to disassociated from Planned Parenthood and then go back. Christians who were contributing and who were pro-life finally received acknowledgement that Komen participated in contributions to Planned Parenthood. They lost donations from Pro-Life Christians not Abortion Choice donors.

  • WashingtonDame

    What exactly does this have to do with religion?

  • ccnl1

    Beyond the politics of contraceptives:

    The reality of se-x, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-
    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. …

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    : The failures of the widely used birth “control” methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    “Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars.”

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    “Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here’s a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active “post-teeners”: Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    “Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about,” said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the Univers

  • cricket44

    Congrats, tz. Not one fact in that entire paragraph.

  • cricket44

    Well, Ms. Brinker, you allowed yourself to be pressured by the anti-choice fanatics and it’s a bit much to be shocked when people disagree with your turning your organization political.

  • quiensabe

    Which part, cricket?

  • PhilyJimi

    When god aborts the fetus is okay. When humans do the same exact thing it is murder. When god don’t let a fertlized egg attach to the womb it is his will. When Humans do the same exact thing it it murder. See clear as mud. Because the religious types will tell you there is a difference but only in their minds.

  • PhilyJimi

    Well of course mammograms don’t prevent breat cancer any more then taking the SAT increase intelligence.

    If you’re going to detect cancer do you want to catch it when you can do something about it or when it is at the last stage and all you can do is plan your furneral? You’re not heartless but you might be missing another organ between your ears.

  • cricket44

    All of it. Well, the author’s name *is* Sally. So there’s that.

  • quiensabe


  • larryclyons

    and this has what to do with the article. Really I wish you’d stop your endless copying and pasting your twisted obsession into everything. We got it the 10th time already. So far you’re up to posting the same rotted festering tripe almost 100 times.

  • larryclyons

    true that, God wastes 6 million people and its called a miracle. A deranged house painter does the same and its genocide.