Monday, February 20, 2012

Komen Catastrophe

In the past couple of weeks, the Susan G Komen foundation made some terrible mistakes that will be likely to impact the long-term reputation of the charity.  A representative of the Komen foundation announced that they would no longer be giving money to Planned Parenthood, an institution that offers services to women that could lead to early detection of cancer, or offer preventative measures. Once this was announced, social media websites lit up instantly. People were outraged with the decision made by the Susan G Komen foundation, and counteracted the movement by donating their own money to the cause, over seven million dollars was raised.

As if this decision was not bad enough, a few days after the announcement was made, they retracted it. They decided to give the original funding back to Planned Parenthood. This was a stupid decision, in my opinion. They probably would have been better off standing firm on their original decision. Now, not only do they have a bad name for denying funding to Planned Parenthood, but they look weak as well. They took a beating from the media, so they decided to change their minds. Better still, Planned Parenthood proved that they did not need the funding anyway. They proved this when they raised way more than they would have received from the Komen foundation anyway, and they did it in a matter of days.

If the Komen foundation wanted to take a stand on abortion, fine. I would not necessarily advise them to do that, but they certainly have the right to do so. They did not seem to have any solid grounds in pulling their funding though, since their money was not being used toward abortions anyway. The money was specifically being used toward education, detection, and treatment of cancer, which makes perfect sense. They are going to have challenges in the upcoming months, and even years, as they work toward restoring their reputation as best they can.

Gillyan Gowarty
Communication Studies
Wilkes 2013

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