Susan G. Komen for the Cure founder Nancy Brinker will step down from her position as CEO, more than eight months after the embattled breast cancer foundation first announced it was dropping funding for Planned Parenthood. A week later, after nationwide outrage and a social media firestorm, Brinker admitted the move was a mistake and claimed Planned Parenthood would be back on the Dallas, Texas based breast cancer icon’s list. In the wake of the poorly-handled dumping, Komen Vice President Karen Handel – an outspoken opponent of Planned Parenthood before coming to Komen — was forced to resign.
In addition to Brinker stepping down –she’ll move into a fundraising and long-term strategy role — Komen President Elizabeth Thompson will leave in September, along with two board members.
In a press release, Komen claimed the move is “a new period of transition,” but USA Today’s Lori Stahl, (who is also Dallas-based,) in a scathing op-ed, calls “Nancy Brinker’s Komen shakeup too little and way too late.”
“Brinker’s failure, or inability, to take responsibility for the brouhaha over Planned Parenthood earned her a level of contempt usually reserved for, say, a BP executive who complained when a massive Gulf oil spill crimped his schedule,” Stahl writes:
What we have here is a failure to communicate, which is why Susan G. Komen for the Cure has yet to heal from its self-inflicted wounds.
Brinker expects us to believe that she, the foundation’s president and two board members just happen to decide to move on at the same time? That’s what Komen told its affiliatesWednesday, in a perfect example of the kind of forethought that got them into this mess.
It’s disappointing that Brinker, once a brilliant marketing strategist, has taken so long to do so little.
Critics have been calling for Brinker’s resignation since January, when Komen said it would stop funding breast cancer screenings performed by Planned Parenthood. Brinker ignored the calls, instead releasing a wooden, video-taped statement which did little to stem the backlash against the nonprofit she founded in 1982.
The poorly-conceived and politically-motivated attack on Planned Parenthood was orchestrated behind the scenes by former George W. Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, and became a flashpoint and focus of the GOP’s war on women.
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