It's been a whirlwind week for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Planned Parenthood and any woman or man who cares about both organizations. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, there are lessons all of us who care about women's health and social change can glean from this saga.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation must take drastic, meaningful and very public measures to win back hearts and minds. One "mea culpa" apology will not be enough to shore up sponsors or win back consumers' loyalty.
Advances in the diagnosis of breast cancer through ultrasound, mammography and breast MRI have helped reduce mortality rates by 25 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. But not for the poor.
Undoubtedly, the pledges that were forthcoming have more than made up for Komen's annual grants of $700,000. I decided I would send my own contribution of $1,000 -- I had never contributed to Planned Parenthood before.
Handel's continued presence as a leader at Komen threatens to undo all of the work they do on behalf of women and breast cancer awareness -- even if the effectiveness of that work is under legitimate scrutiny.
Would so many individuals -- 'Racers for the Cure' and celebrities alike -- rise up in protest? My guess is no, they would not -- and this is the power of the stigma around abortion. When access to health care is limited by money or geography, we cannot afford to limit it further with politics.
Together, one download at a time, we will not only keep breast health away from politics, but we will show the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Planned Parenthood and women everywhere the real power of ribbons!
"Those are the numbers we're looking for," Gladson continued, "and some day, thanks to the strides that Komen For The Cure has taken today towards providing breast cancer care for only the most desirable candidates, we'll get there."