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Question of the Day
Williams, in an email, said she could not comment on her departure for reasons of professional confidentiality, but she was clear about her views.
“I have dedicated my career to fighting for the rights of the marginalized and underserved,” she wrote. “And I believe it would be a mistake for any organization to bow to political pressure and compromise its mission.”
Williams said she was saddened by the rift because she admired both Komen and Planned Parenthood.
“I am hopeful their passionate and courageous leaders, Nancy Brinker and Cecile Richards, can swiftly resolve this conflict in a manner that benefits the women they both serve.”
Among Komen’s affiliates, there were clear signs of discomfort with the decision. The Connecticut branch received scores of supportive emails after expressing frustration about the cutoffs and good will toward Planned Parenthood.
All seven Komen affiliates in California, in a joint letter to their congressional delegation, said they were “strongly opposed” to the policy change and were working to overturn it.
“Our commitment to our mission is unwavering,” the letter said. “This is a misstep in that journey and … we will do whatever it takes to do what is right for the health of women and men in California.”
In New York City, a member of the Komen affiliate’s medical advisory board said she would resign if the decision wasn’t changed soon.
“Komen is a wonderful organization and does tremendous things for women, but this is straying from their mission,” said Dr. Kathy Plesser, a radiologist. “It’s sad.”
The board of the Arkansas affiliate issued a statement noting that the decision was made at Komen headquarters “without input from affiliates,” and called for the new policy to be changed.
“We hope Komen national will reverse its position on granting to organizations under investigation because we feel decisions of this nature should be made only after the investigation is complete,” the statement said.
At the Orange County affiliate in Costa Mesa, Calif., executive director Lisa Wolter said there have been lots of exchanges with headquarters.
“We’re very troubled by the reaction, and we want to make sure there are clarifications,” she said.
The American Association of University Women, in protest over Komen’s decision, said it was scrapping plans to offer a Komen Race for the Cure as one of the activities at its upcoming National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.
“AAUW is disappointed that some are playing politics with women’s health and jeopardizing care for the most vulnerable among us,” said Lisa Maatz, the association’s director of public policy.
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