Komen Website Hacked, Planned Parenthood Rakes in Donations, and News Surfaces That Komen Official Resigned Over Decision
If you hadn't noticed, the outrage over Komen for the Cure's decision to pull its funding for breast health services at Planned Parenthood affiliates around the country has definitely not subsided. If anything, members of the pro-choice community and others who are upset about the decision appear to be even more fired up today.
Overnight, a group of hackers channeled that outrage into this:
That would be Komen's homepage (or, rather, a faux version of the homepage), with a message that reads "Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure: Helps us run over poor women on our way to the bank."
Komen's Facebook wall continues to be filled with angry messages about the Planned Parenthood decision -- they far outnumber the supportive messages, as of this writing. The charity itself is remaining fairly tight-lipped, posting a handful of updates (and a video) to its Facebook wall, but otherwise trying to ride out the storm in silence, it seems. The group's new, controversial anti-Planned Parenthood VP re-tweeted the following sentiment earlier today, but the message was quickly deleted. (Here's a good profile of Handel, if you want more information on her.)
The good news for Planned Parenthood is that all the ill will towards Komen has translated into a great fundraising opportunity for the national federation, if only, perhaps, in the short term. The Washington Post reports that PPFA has pulled in some $650,000 from donors in just one day -- nearly enough to make up for the funding it would have received from Komen this year. Planned Parenthood supporters are also contributing their stories to a new Tumblr, Planned Parenthood Saved My Life.
Another interesting development in this saga is that, according to a report in The Atlantic, not everyone at Komen was supportive of the decision to defund Planned Parenthood. In fact, the decision reportedly caused an "uproar" within the organization, and a top Komen official even resigned upon hearing the news:
Three sources told me that the organization's top public health official, Mollie Williams, resigned in protest immediately following the Komen board's decision to cut off Planned Parenthood. Williams, who served as the managing director of community health programs, was responsible for directing the distribution of $93 million in annual grants. Williams declined to comment when I reached her yesterday on whether she had resigned her position in protest, and she declined to speak about any other aspects of the controversy.
But John Hammarley, who until recently served as Komen's senior communications adviser and who was charged with managing the public relations aspects of Komen's Planned Parenthood grant, said that Williams believed she could not honorably serve in her position once Komen had caved to pressure from the anti-abortion right. "Mollie is one of the most highly respected and ethical people inside the organization, and she felt she couldn't continue under these conditions," Hammarley said. "The Komen board of directors are very politically savvy folks, and I think over time they thought if they gave in to the very aggressive propaganda machine of the anti-abortion groups, that the issue would go away. It seemed very short-sighted to me."
What's more, at least two of Komen's affiliates are mutinying as well. ThinkProgress reports that Komen's Denver affiliate sought (and received) an exception from the national charity to continue funding Planned Parenthood, while the group's Connecticut affiliate went the route of withdrawing its support of Komen altogether. Update: The executive director of Komen's Los Angeles chapter has resigned, saying that there are "decisions that Komen has made in the past year that have led me to decide that my skills and talents no longer fit their model."
We will of course keep you updated as more developments in this story come in.