The Astrology of Politics: The Susan G. Komen Public Relations Disaster

Pink Ribbon(Astrology Explored) Pro-lifers defend it, Pro-Choicers bash it, but it is clear that the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s decision to end funding to Planned Parenthood has produced a backlash has colored the public’s perceptions of a once lauded charity as a politics driven vehicle bent on shaping public policy.

The funding was granted for use in breast cancer screening procedures, including mammograms and other breath health education programs.

A spokesperson for Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) said that he personally called Komen founder Nancy Brinker to complain when he heard the news on Tuesday, and he and 22 other members of the House of Representatives have signed onto a letter asking her to reverse her decision.

“This is an alarming development resulting from political pressure from anti-women’s health organizations,” the letter says. “We ask – in the strongest possible terms – that Susan G. Komen reconsider its decision, as the health of millions of brave women everywhere demands the same kind of bravery exhibited the Komen Foundation.”

Susan G. Komen’s leadership defend their decision. Founder Nancy Brinker said:

“All I can tell you is that the responses we’re getting are very, very favorable,” she told host Andrea Mitchell. “People who have bothered to read the material, who have bothered to understand the issues– again, we work for a mission every day of our lives.”

This is a difficult issue made more difficult by the gross mischaracterization” of Komen’s intent, Elizabeth Thompson, the Dallas-based group’s president, said yesterday in a conference call with reporters.

Komen maintains that its decision was not politically motivated — a spokesperson says that the move was a result of the breast-cancer charity’s new rule barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by the local, state, or federal government. But, as Fox News reports, out of the 200,000 or so groups to which Komen awards grants, only Planned Parenthood has been affected by the new rule. And others note that, given Komen’s 2011 statement lauding Planned Parenthood for its service to poor, uninsured, and underinsured women, politics may be the only reason to cut funding now.

And some of the supporters of the Komen decision seem a little out of touch with Planned Parenthood’s mission:

Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest, whose organization’s report led to the investigation of Planned Parenthood by Republican Representative Cliff Stearns, told the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff that the defunding of Planned Parenthood “was some of the best news of my entire life.”

“We’re so used to seeing Planned Parenthood succeed at defining themselves as the trendy place to be, and for Komen to make such a smart decision in recognizing the reality behind Planned Parenthood spin,” she added. “As a breast cancer survivor, I was always troubled with this whole idea that the nation’s largest abortion provider was enmeshed in the breast cancer fight when they weren’t actually doing mammograms.

But the fact is the decision wasn’t as well received by as the organization would lead us to believe.

Dr. Kathy Plesser, a Manhattan radiologist on the medical advisory board of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s New York chapter, said she plans to resign from her position unless Komen reverses its decision to pull grant money from Planned Parenthood.

With her decision, Plesser joins Komen’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, and the executive director of Komen’s Los Angeles County chapter, Deb Anthony, both of whom also resigned in protest.


Within 48 hours of news breaking that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation was cutting grants to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for its breast-cancer screening program, PPFA has more than made up for the $680,000 in funds lost.

Thursday afternoon, Planned Parenthood announced that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was making a $250,000 matching grant. That comes in addition to pledges to Planned Parenthood totaling $400,000 from 6,000 donors in the first day, and a $250,000 grant from the Amy and Lee Fikes’ Foundation of Dallas.

“Politics have no place in health care,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care. We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way.”

Others say Komen’s decision could have long term effects on their public image:

. . .philanthropy experts said it would be difficult for Komen to convince people it was not playing politics.

“There’s a long-term weakening of the Susan G. Komen brand from this decision,” said Melissa Berman, chief executive of nonprofit Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, which counsels wealthy donors who give more $200 million a year.

“We would see donors reluctant to be involved with a charity whose decision-making gets influenced by short-term pressures and politics because you would always wonder who is really in charge.”

Founder Nancy Brinker’s Republican ties are well documented, so why now does her organization decide to make a stand on Planned Parenthood, calling the grant changes, as their website says, a way “to serve women and communities better”?

Brinker’s book “Promise Me: How a Sister’s Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer” lists the official start date of the organization in the Timeline Section of the book as July 22, 1982 in Dallas, Texas. We have no time for this so we can not comment on house positions and can only speculate on the exact position of the moon. The chart of the announcement was set for sunrise of January 31, 2012.

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Horoscope Chart

click to enlarge

The inception date of the organization to fight breast cancer has the sun and two other planets, Venus and Mercury in the zodiac sign of Cancer, the sign the represents the home, mother and the breasts. The sun is at 29 degrees of Cancer, an anarectic degree, a powerful symbol of a decision having been made. With the Sun in challenge aspect to Mars, the planet of trouble, Pluto, the planet of death, and Jupiter, the planet of overabundance, the intent to challenge death is clear.

This chart also features not one, but two yods, important significators of a destiny to be fullfilled.

One yod has Chiron, the planets of wounds and illness at the apex, with the Mars/Pluto combo and the planet of dreams, Neptune as the base.

Neptune also forms the apex of the second Yod, with the Sun/Mercury combo as one leg of the base and Chiron as the second.

No doubt this isn’t just a public mission but one that comes from spirit as well.

But something has changed in the texture of the energies at play within Komen’s chart, and what this is the progressions of the chart. Progressions show how an entity evolves and incorporates other energies in the zodiac within its framework.

For Komen, the changes are profound. Mercury, the planet of communications has moved well into the sign of Virgo, a zodiac sign that is perfectionistic in its expectations of others. Where Mercury in Cancer is enveloping and inclusive when it comes to family, women and women’s issues, Virgo has the tendency to shut out what does not meet standards. So the issue of who should get funding and who should not has been an issue of perhaps some rancor within the ranks of Komen. Now though, transiting Saturn as moved up to insert itself between Komen’s Pluto and Jupiter. Like a splinter in a finger, it is a sore spot, underscoring the need to do “the right thing”.

But if you notice, progressed mercury is making a challenge aspect to Neptune. Neptune will always muddy up the thinking processes of Mercury, with wishful thinking and misperceptions running rampant if allowed. Surely, Komen leadership, at the very least, has underestimated the amount of black lash the defunding decision would generate.

Transiting Mars Retrograde seems to be a culprit as well, spurring action by hitting the progressed Moon/Mercury position. Though we aren’t sure of the moon position, it is suspicious that when Mars ran backward over it, the decision was announced.

Will Komen back track? It has inserted itself and is now caught into the one and seemingly irreconcilable polarized issue of our time. They did this the time of the national elections when the pro-choice/pro-life debate kicks up. It would take more Libra energy than this chart has to successfully straddle the breech between the two positions. Maybe when its progressed Moon hits Libra around early fall will Komen redefine how it serves the community in a more egalitarian way. Until then, its current decision will remain a public relations disaster.

Update: Well, that was quick. Apparently, even as I put up my post, the folks at Komen had second thoughts:

Following a massive public backlash over its decision to pull funding for breast cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood, Susan G. Komen for the Cure founder Nancy Brinker apologized to the family planning organization on Friday and said Komen will preserve its eligibility for future grants.

Brinker said in a statement that the decision is a result of “distress” at the “presumption” that Komen, the nation’s largest breast cancer charity, pulled its funding from Planned Parenthood for political reasons:

Komen Natal, Progressions, and Transit Horoscope Chart

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