Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the United States’ most prominent and charitable breast cancer foundation, has called off its partnership with Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country.
In the last 24 hours, more than 38,000 responses about the news have posted to Twitter. None of those tweets, however, were able to cover up the silence reverberating from the foundation’s Twitter handle (@komenforthecure), which had nothing to offer in the way of explanation or outreach in the wake of the foundation’s most controversial decision in years.
It’s a decision that leaves Planned Parenthood scrambling to recoup the roughly $680,000 in grants that Komen made annually to the national organization, which is best known for providing reproductive, maternal, and child health services. Much of the annual grants went towards Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer screening program.
According to Twitter analytics tool Topsy, conversation about the decision picked up late Monday afternoon, when news of the split first hit the Web. Not all of the tweets have been negative, but those that support the decision are few and difficult to find. The overwhelming majority of tweets have been filled with vitriol and aggression towards the Komen foundation, which has fallen under scrutiny as an organization only looking to appease its pro-life supporters in the political ring.
“Question for Susan Komen Foundation,” posed comedian Rob Delaney (@robdelaney), a popular Twitter personality who rarely shies away from controversial issues. “My wife got birth control pills at Planned Parenthood. Should I burn her ‘Walk for the Cure’ shirts?”
Delaney later retweeted a post from indie rock band the Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats), whose Twitter account is run by renowned songwriter John Darnielle: “Pro-choice musicians, know that Komen for the Cure is now on the side of the bad guys; deny support to this org.”
Michael Pusateri (@cruftbox) had another idea, urging people to take the money they would have given to Komen and donate it directly to Planned Parenthood. “Together, we can raise the lost funding, “ wrote Pusateri, in a message that has been retweeted 74 times, including seven from individuals Topsy views as influential people.
An open group called “Boycott Susan G Komen Foundation” has already launched on Facebook. Organized by Virginia resident Betty Eyer, the group currently holds only 353 members. Expect that number to grow a great deal as conversation about the Komen foundation’s decision progresses.
Photo by leah.jones