Once again, we have an example where social media and public backlash have reversed an organization’s decision.
For the past three days, Susan G. Komen for the Cure (SGK) has been battered by criticism from the public and members of government who objected to the group’s decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. The money had been used for breast exams. This morning, SGK announced that it was going to take a closer look at the policy that led to the cuts and apologized for its earlier decision. Planned Parenthood can apply for grants once again.
“Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process,” the statement says. “It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women.” We tried to read the statement on the SGK website, but got a big error message that says simply “Server is too busy.”
The statement goes on to say that the organization wants to move past the issue (we’re all sure they do) and has plans for talks this afternoon with affiliates.
Planned Parenthood has also issued a statement thanking supporters and reaffirming the goodwill between it and SGK.
“During the last week, millions spontaneously joined a national conversation about lifesaving breast cancer prevention care and reinforced shared values about access to health care for all. This compassionate outcry in support of those most in need rose above political, ideological, and cultural divides, and will surely be recognized as one of our nation’s better moments during a contentious political time,” the statement reads.
Just today, The New York Times published a story about the impact that the Web was having on this conversation. Besides the “head-snapping speed” with which all of this happened, the story notes the “political polarization” that the issue has shined a light on.
Moreover, the way the issue unfolded goes back to the communications tactics that must be used when an organization makes a big decision like this. On Waxing Unlyrical, Shonali Burke discusses the lack of transparency, consistent messaging, and other missteps that got SGK in trouble.
The most important thing is the continued work to provide women with the healthcare services they need. TGIF for all of us.