Follow Up of the Day: Crafty hackers last night managed to hijack the official website of embattled breast-cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and express their dismay at the organization’s politically expedient decision to pull Planned Parenthood grants funding breast-cancer screenings for uninsured and underinsured low-income patients.
The switch was simple, but the message was clear: A banner previously calling women to join a run aimed at ridding the world of breast cancer now read “help us run over poor women on our way to the bank.”
The hack, which briefly redirected www.komen.org visitors to ww5.komen.org, was only the first in a series of notable developments that have taken place since the charity announced its controversial grant withdrawal on Tuesday.
Planned Parenthood, which called out Komen for bowing to “political pressure,” has managed to raise nearly $1 million from online donations and generous contributions from deep-pocketed supporters such as NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
That number, which is continuing to rise, is nearly as much as Komen gave the nonprofit in 2010 and 2011 combined.
Pressure on Komen to reverse its decision is also mounting. 22 Democratic Senators have reportedly signed a strongly worded letter calling on Komen to resume its partnership with Planned Parenthood.
Additionally, Komen’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, has resigned to protest her employer’s defunding decision. The executive director of Komen’s Los Angeles County chapter has also stated her intention to resign.
For its part, Komen continues to deny anti-abortion links to its decision, despite their anti-choice SVP Karen Handel’s well-established goal to defund Planned Parenthood. (Handel recently retweeted a remark critical of Planned Parenthood that concluded with the phrase “cry me a freaking river.” The retweet was soon deleted.)
The organization is further denying its deletion of pro-Planned Parenthood comments from its Facebook page and message board, claiming it only removes comments for profanity.
One poignant comment Komen couldn’t delete was left by award-winning author Judy Blume on her Twitter feed: ”Susan Komen would not give in to bullies or to fear. Too bad the foundation bearing her name did. Support @PPact. Save lives.”
When even Judy Blume is calling you out, you should probably stop and listen.