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Posts Tagged ‘Planned Parenthood’

Planned Parenthood Enlists Scarlett Johansson to Promote Those Healthcare Exchanges

Venice in the fall...

We understand why the White House doesn’t want to call upon celebrities to promote the new, glitchy healthcare exchanges. The “Hollywood limousine liberal” stereotype is powerful enough to seriously damage any campaign designed to appeal to as many people as possible, so they went with the Baltimore Ravens instead.

Planned Parenthood, however, has a different strategy in mind. The group isn’t concerned with swaying those who believe the concept of actresses promoting birth control to be the worst thing since New Coke, so they’ve they’ve enlisted Scarlett Johansson, Gabrielle Union, and Aisha Tyler to encourage enrollment in the exchanges. When interested parties call their local PP health centers, they’ll hear a recording of one of the three, each of whom the group describes as “passionate supporters”, asking ”Did you know you may be able to enroll in new, more affordable health insurance plans?” and directing them to this online guide to finding coverage in the Brave New Insurance World.

This is hardly a dramatic campaign, and any negative press will come from those who wouldn’t approve of any sentence that includes the words “Planned” and “Parenthood”. But will familiar names and voices really encourage more enrollment?

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CEO’s Salary Reignites Komen Controversy

The breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen has yet to recover from the PR disaster that was its 2012 decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood. Though the resulting controversy and backlash inspired the organization to quickly reverse its decision, Komen is still reeling from dramatically decreased donations and event participation.

The foundation announced last week that it would be cancelling seven of its three-day walks in 2014 — half of its annual multi-day events. Though the organization attributes the cancellations to economic uncertainty and competition from other charities, the sugar-coated explanation is a euphemism for plummeting support.

In light of the troubled year the foundation has faced, the public hadn’t exactly expected Nancy Brinker — who is still Komen’s CEO despite announcements made ten months ago that she would be stepping down from her post — to receive a raise in 2012. However, the organization’s latest IRS filing shows that Brinker made $684,717 in fiscal 2012, a 64 percent jump from her $417,000 salary from April 2010 to March 2011.

If that didn’t look bad enough, the filing also says Brinker devoted 55 hours to the cause each week, which translates to an hourly rate of $239.40, roughly twice the salary of Komen’s chief financial officer Mark Nadolny or former president Liz Thompson, who left Komen as a result of the Planned Parenthood controversy.

Though the organization maintains that the pay raise was set in motion back in 2010, well before the trouble started, that fact has done little to assuage the already-incensed public.



NYC Faces Backlash for PSAs ‘Shaming’ Teen Parents

We think you’ll agree that everyone wants to reduce teen pregnancy rates. But some citizens and advocacy organizations aren’t too happy with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s Human Resources Administration‘s latest attempt to dissuade teens from becoming parents with a bold new PSA campaign that seems to leverage the power of shame.

The campaign consists of posters like the one to the left that pair photos of distraught infants with harrowing facts like “90% of teen parents don’t marry each other”. Each poster encourages viewers to text HRA to learn more and offers “games” that allow users to follow pregnant teenage couples and answer questions like “my GF is pregnant! Prom is coming up and she’s not going, should I stay in or go to prom? Reply ‘promyes’ or ‘promno’”. It’s a sort of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure for the at-risk teenage set. User engagement, calls to action–seems like it could make for effective advocacy PR.

Planned Parenthood is not amused, however.

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Komen Runs Big-Budget Damage Control Campaign

You may remember that Susan G. Komen — the company responsible for turning October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) into a sea of pink– pulled funding from Planned Parenthood  back in February, resulting in a tidal wave of outrage. The hypocrisy of Komen, which urges women to be screened for cancer, pulling funding from an organization that provides access to cancer screenings and preventative education for underprivileged women proved too much for many to swallow. Komen eventually reversed its decision, but the move came too late for many former supporters.

As the company gears up for this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many in the industry doubt whether the brand can recover its damaged image and retain corporate sponsorships. For that reason, this year’s campaign will focus on salvaging Komen’s credibility where past efforts leaned more toward educating women about screenings and inspiring others to join the fight by purchasing branded items and participating in sponsored races. So will it work?

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Komen for the Cure VP Karen Handel Resigns

Just a day after we reported on weekend efforts by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to move away from last weekend’s uproar over its decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, an SGK exec that many say was behind the decision has resigned.

Karen Handel (left) has stepped down from her post as VP for public policy. According to Handel’s resignation letter (obtained by the Associated Press), the organization was on board with the decision at first. She calls the backlash a “gross mischaracterization of the strategy… and her involvement in it” and says that SGK saw the need to distance itself from a controversial association with Planned Parenthood.

Many had called for Handel to leave her post. Recommendations from comms experts and others have also called on SGK to speak with one clear and unified voice. Unfortunately, this news doesn’t achieve that.

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Susan G. Komen Backs Off Planned Parenthood Cuts

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.”

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Susan G. Komen, Women Across the Country Hurt By New Policy

Not the story you thought you’d ever read about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, one of the most noted and respected nonprofits out there. But the other day, it was announced that the organization is cutting funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates, which could leave many women without access to breast exams. Last year, Susan G. Komen (SGK) provided $680,000 in grants to Planned Parenthood groups.

Coverage of issue indicates that SGK made the policy change under pressure from anti-abortion groups and members of Congress. Yesterday, the organization’s founder and CEO, Nancy G. Brinker made the video above to explain why the money has been cut.

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Planned Parenthood’s Tips for Halloween Vampire Sex

Are you on Team Edward? Perhaps looking for a little of that True Blood sexy-time action to spice up your Halloween festivities? Well just hold on one minute there.

Planned Parenthood has issued a press release with a few tips for handling your vampire tryst. Overall, they warn against trusting old wives tales or the words of lying, bloodsucking undeads. But also, use protection and get tested. Good advice indeed. Spread the word. Press release after the jump.

[h/t @ozsultan]

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