Planned Parenthood, like, totally stole pink. It was so wrong.

Karen Handel, once senior vice president for public policy for the Komen Foundation during the Planned Parenthood defunding controversy, has accused Planned Parenthood of stealing… pink. She made the accusation to the Family Research Council at an event promoting her new book, cleverly and succinctly titled Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Handel asserts that Planned Parenthood was having PR issues, and so they started talking about breast cancer, and then they made everything pink, but they don’t get to do that because they’re not about breast cancer but they want everyone to think they’re cool like Komen so they stole pink, they stole it and it’s not fair.

“The public scrutiny against Planned Parenthood was really growing. Planned Parenthood got that, and they knew they needed to embark on a kind of PR-image campaign,” Handel said. “And when they did that, they decided to make mammograms and that they were a primary of breast health services one of their key messages. As they did that, they talked so much about mammograms, it was drawing Komen into the abortion fight even deeper than the organization ever wanted to be.”

“To them, Planned Parenthood literally co-opted the color pink. And for most people the color pink is associated with what? The fight against breast cancer,” Handel continued. “But Planned Parenthood cloaked itself in that color. Their website changed to pink. Everything they did was pink, pink, pink. Wrapping themselves in what I would call, if you will, a cloak of legitimacy to gain credibility.”

Continued Handel, “Also, Planned Parenthood started wearing cheerleader skirts so everyone would think they were a cheerleader, but they’re so not and it’s so totally obvious. I’d feel sorry for them, but I, like, don’t.”

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126 Responses to Planned Parenthood, like, totally stole pink. It was so wrong.

  1. ChariD says:

    What is it with Right-wingers and their need to have all their book titles 8 feet long and containing a colon?

  2. Li says:

    literally co-opted


  3. Wordwizard says:

    The cheerleader bit is just whimsy, right?

    • Past my expiration date says:

      I really like the cheerleader part.

    • Amelia the lurker says:

      I don’t see how the cheerleader bit could not be tongue in cheek given that Planned Parenthood isn’t a person and thus can’t wear skirts.

  4. Alara Rogers says:

    I thought that for most people, the color pink is associated with Barbie.

    • Tim says:

      The first thing that pops into my mind is Pepto-Bismol.

    • Amber says:

      True story:

      I work in advertising and both Pepto-Bismol, Barbie, and Susan G Komen have specific pinks that they use and will make you show them the exact color code you used before they approve creative.

      It should be noted, Planned Parenthood used something closer to Barbie than to Komen pink on their materials.

  5. Fucking Komen, and fuck everybody related to Komen. There’s a reason I don’t buy breast cancer anything.

    • amblingalong says:

      Am I wrong in thinking the people responsible for the whole PP flap were mostly removed? Maybe I just fell for clever PR, but I was under the impression that the bad actors were gone.

  6. pheenobarbidoll says:

    You can steal colors?


  7. pheenobarbidoll says:

    And green. Green is now MINE.

  8. Tim says:

    As they did that, they talked so much about mammograms, it was drawing Komen into the abortion fight even deeper than the organization ever wanted to be.

    Is there any possible parsing of that sentence or its context that could make it make the slightest bit of sense?

    And if we’re claiming colors, I want chartreuse for my very own. Both green and yellow.

    • Andie says:

      Ahh dang it. Beat me to it!

      At this rate, I’m going to be left with baby-shit yellow. *sigh*

    • SunlessNick says:

      As far as I can tell, it translates as “they talked about all the medical services they provide as well as abortions, and that included breast cancer screenings – but since we’re all about breast cancer, we look bad for not supporting them, and that’s not fair.”

  9. mary says:

    “And when they did that, they decided to make mammograms and that they were a primary of breast health services one of their key messages. As they did that, they talked so much about mammograms, it was drawing Komen into the abortion fight even deeper than the organization ever wanted to be.”

    Why those BASTARDS, providing and promoting cancer screenings that could save women’s lives.

  10. gratuitous_violet says:

    Oh, wow. Sorry, komen foundation, I’d play you a song but I left my tiny violin next to the stirrups at Planned Parenthood’s new abortionplex.

    Robin’s Egg Blue, FTW!

    • SophiaBlue says:

      Excuse me, but i think I have clearly claimed all shades of blue by virtue of it being in my name. Anyone attempting to co-opt any shade of blue from me will be the subject of a scathing lecture.

      • gratuitous_violet says:

        I can abide by your logic, since it means I get my other favorite crayon, purple mountain’s majesty, by virtue of my handle. Excellent!

  11. Drahill says:

    Komen, frankly, shouldn’t ever talk about co-opting or stealing anything. Just for kicks one day, take some blood pressure medication and google “Komen Trademark Disputes.” Komen claims to own everything from the pink ribbon to the phrase “for the cure.” They’ve very literally forced smaller charities out of business (like Kites for a Cure) by claiming that they have a trademark on it. They are among the worst abusers of IP laws in this country, and frankly, it warms my heart to see them in this kind of position.

  12. Ian Wright says:

    Fuschia is mine!

    I hate that colour, but I figure if I claim it I can keep other people from using it and I won’t ever have to see it again. That’s how this works, right?

    In other unrelated related topics, I am shocked to learn that Handel is deeply entitled and not entirely in touch with reality. Shocked, I say.

  13. Jadey says:

    Dibs on ultraviolet and infrared.


  14. Anna says:

    I maintain a blog for one of Planned Parenthood’s many affiliates, and the top complaint we get about it from far and wide is that people don’t like the blaring pink. If we stole pink, I’d love to give it back! :P

    (Not speaking on behalf of Planned Parenthood here.)

    • Anna in PDX says:

      I am very annoyed at PP for the garish pink they use. It really bugs the hell out of me. Why pink? such a dorky color and all over my email screen every time they send me a message. So, can’t you do something as an insider? Let them go to some nice easy on the eyes color other than that horrible Barbie pink – like for example cobalt blue, or something. Or teal, I can deal with teal.

  15. Well fine, I get black and white. :P

  16. shfree says:

    Octarine. I get the color of MAGIC.

  17. pheenobarbidoll says:

    *sneaks off with the entire rainbow tucked into my pocket*

    Who says lock picking is a dead art?

  18. Mel says:

    This reminds me of the time a bunch of evangelical Christians, during Albuquerque Pride, were bemoaning how the gay people had stolen the rainbow, which apparently is trademarked by God or something.

    • scrumby says:

      There is an entire “Take back the rainbow” movement. I once got a hold of one of their stickers and gave it to my best hulking, bull-dyke buddy at college. She stuck it to her laptop and wrate “you can try” underneath.

    • Radiant Sophia says:

      Strangely, where I live (Iowa), a large portion of supporters of the pride parade are local Christian churches.

  19. matlun says:

    But Planned Parenthood cloaked itself in that color […] Wrapping themselves in […] a cloak of legitimacy to gain credibility.

    You learn something every day.
    The cloak of legitimacy is apparently pink.

  20. Li says:

    Yeah, typical. By the time I get around, seems the only thing left is taupe.

  21. Kasabian says:


  22. librarygoose says:

    How ’bout gray? I can totally have gray right?

  23. thinksnake says:

    As long as aubergine is still going…

  24. A4 says:

    She should talk to carrots. You would not BELIEVE the things they say about oranges. Talk about “literally co-opting” a color…

    • Emily says:

      That analogy is pretty much perfect here because the carrots are 100% wrong. The colour orange was named for the fruit and carrots were specially bred to change them from purple

  25. ellid says:

    Actually, when I think of pink I think of Malibu Barbie.

  26. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help says:

    PP co-opted pink? I wish someone would tell Target et al. I nearly get pink nausea just walking past clothes or toy sections aimed at girls.

    • Valoniel says:

      – __ – La Senza. I’ve literally had to down migraine meds after unexpectedly turning a corner to find one of those staring at me.

      • Jadey says:

        *shudder* Now I’m imagining a La Senza next to a Lush (it must happen somewhere). The only way the sensory overload could be worse would be if I was simultaneously being rubbed with sandpaper while emery boards were run over styrofoam next to my ears.

      • Valoniel says:

        Wow, Jadey, that was…brain-scrapingly detailed. Ow.

      • debbie says:

        I actually flinched when I read that.

      • RuthieG says:

        Princes Street in Edinburgh. It’s only been like that for a couple of weeks but they are right next to each other.

  27. Andy says:

    Turquoise, please.

  28. Erin says:

    I have a bright pink Planned Parenthood t-shirt that I got from the affiliate I worked for…in 2006.

    Fuck you, Karen Handel.

  29. Kerandria says:

    Fuck corporate charity.

    I can’t believe scarlet is still available! *mine*

  30. konkonsn says:

    Calling brown.

    Y’all are so dapper. Whatever happened to looking drab?

    (My wardrobe is consistently brown and blue).

  31. AMM says:

    Continued Handel, “Also, Planned Parenthood started wearing cheerleader skirts …

    Did someone say cheerleader skirts? As in, short cheerleader skirts?

    I can see they know how to get guys on board with what they’re doing. (Well, straight guys, at least.)

    • konkonsn says:

      Really? ^_-

    • Colin Day says:

      But what if it’s guys wearing the skirts?

      • You assume that no men are into that.

        (You also assume that no women are into that.)

        This is patently not the case. :P

      • librarygoose says:

        Yes, I concur Mac. More skirts on men.

      • Denise Winters says:

        The first thing that crosses my mind when Planned Parenthood and cheerleading is mentioned is radical cheerleaders, certainly a group that is no stranger to men in skirts. But maybe its just me that automatically made that leap.

      • Colin Day says:

        I assumed AMM meant having straight guys looking at women in skirts.

        But hey, I’ll wear a cheerleader skirt!

      • Colin Day says:

        Oh, no. I’m into that. Perhaps I misunderstood AMM.

      • AMM says:

        But what if it’s guys wearing the skirts?

        Why not?

        I know guys who’d enjoy wearing them, me included.

        And I’m pretty sure there are people (of both genders) who’d enjoy looking at guys wearing them (assuming it was done well, of course.)

        This conjures up in my mind a image of Planned Parenthood offices across the country where everyone (men as well as women) wears pink cheerleading uniforms with two script letter “P”s on the front and back in silver glitter.

        And pink pom-poms, of course.

        In reality, of course, we’d all die of pink poisoning, but it’s a fun idea.

      • Colin Day says:

        The way you phrased it, I thought you meant straight guys looking at women in skirts.

      • AMM says:

        The way you phrased it, I thought you meant straight guys looking at women in skirts.

        I did.

        But then you brought up the topic of _men_ in (cheerleader) skirts, a subject near and dear to my heart. The rest is, as they say, history.

  32. Angiportus says:

    RGB 40-0-0…Mine! And I’ve been sick of the Komen crap for a long time.

  33. Cactus Wren says:

    I claim French ultramarine, alizarin crimson, and Payne’s gray.

    And cosmic latte.

  34. Sheila says:

    I claim black. I am willing to share it with fellow darklings though.

    But let’s get real. Isn’t pink associated with girls and women? And don’t people associate reproductice health with women (despite the fact that men have reproductive bits as well)? So wouldn’t pink and reproductive health therefore go together well?

  35. DSJ says:

    Ruffled clam is mine! Bwahahahaha

    (And god did I need this thread today)

  36. PeggyLuWho says:

    This is the most fun thread since the hats. I’m calling Pantone 3248

  37. speedbudget says:

    Yellow No. 5 is miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

  38. Shay'a'chern says:

    Crimson and celadon for me!

  39. bleh says:

    Is azure available? I’m up for azure. And srsly, they should see my new CB2 rug – talk about cloaking oneself (or one’s home) in pink ;)

  40. spongleflipper says:

    Those socialists in the Republican party stole red.

    I have a great feminist argument against abortion: “Pregnant women who need abortions need them because of the patriarchy, so denying women the abortions they need will end the patriarchy somehow.”

    Plant Parenthood stole a terrible color because #ffcc33 is the best coloUr ever and I have a question:

    Should it be illegal to get an abortion if you’re not pregnant? Because I feel that abortion would be the right choice because I can’t afford to raise a child and I will have to quit my nonexistent job but I am a cismale virgin so I am not pregnant yet so what should I do.

    No, I don’t know the point of this post.

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