Komen’s brand is tainted by Planned Parenthood’s stain
April 18, 2013
It’s been just a little over one year since the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s bizarre flip-flop on funding for Planned Parenthood, and if attendance means anything, the decision continues to take its corrosive toll on an organization that has sabotaged its own branding. According to WISH-TV news in Indianapolis, participation in the Indy Race for the Cure has plunged again for the second straight cycle. As it stands today, 17,400 participants have registered for its April 20 event. That’s down from 26,000 in 2012 and 37,000 in 2011. That equates to a 54 percent dive in participation, a drop off that is nothing short of disaster.
The most prevalent media explanation for the dive is that Planned Parenthood supporters are withholding their participation out of anger that Komen dared to consider snipping its funding relationship, even if the decision to do so lasted less than 48 hours. One would need to suspend all logic to believe this is the case.
Komen’s numbers are dropping because its funding ties to Planned Parenthood are offensive to thousands of Hoosiers who know that Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in the state of Indiana. There is no doubt that many Indianapolis residents who no longer participate in Komen events regularly commute past Planned Parenthood’s mega abortion center on the city’s Northwest side, knowing that thousands of unborn children are dismembered within its walls every single year. The same could be said of residents of Merrillville, Lafayette and Bloomington – all communities in which Planned Parenthood abortion centers regularly churn out a grisly abortion revenue.
No celebrity endorsements, media appeals or clever advertising will return these former participants to the Komen fold. When Komen decided at the national level to continue funding for Planned Parenthood, it strapped itself and its local affiliate events in a death grip with one of the all-time unlikeable organizations in the United States.
The decision has been particularly destructive to Komen events in more conservative communities where local grants to Planned Parenthood have historically been withheld. These are the local organizers who could point to their local grants list and show the absence of any Planned Parenthood funding. There were always trails of Komen-Planned Parenthood funding in communities like Boulder, Colorado, but these were played off as more liberal communities exercising autonomy in spending locally-raised funds. Connecting the dots directly to the Komen parent organization was difficult at best.
All of that changed when Komen chose the road it did in 2012.
Komen had its opportunity to face the abortion giant down by trusting that its brand was stronger than Planned Parenthood’s. It failed to do so. Now the hard slide will continue with the most likely result being an eventual stabilization at new average attendance numbers far below those years when Komen’s brand was untainted by Planned Parenthood’s stain.
-Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life