Et tu, Komen?

Hooooooo boy.  Just when I was gonna take a break from women’s issues to write about glassblowing or something.  Now this.  Komen pulls its funding from Planned Parenthood for breast screenings and exams.

Unbelievable.  Just unbelievable.  I don’t even know where to begin.  It’s bad enough there’s a war on women’s health in this country – but to enlist breast cancer survivors and their families to help wage it?  Unconscionable.

Now listen.  I’ve been accused of being fair to a fault.  In my discussion of HR 358, I try my level best to empathize with both sides – going so far as to defend a doctor’s decision not to perform an abortion if it goes against his or her religious beliefs.  I still come down on the side of insisting abortion be legal, but I acknowledge the complexity and offer what seems like a common sense solution if the mother’s life is in danger and a doctor’s religious beliefs preclude him from performing abortions.

In my shredding Ray Comfort’s likening abortion to the Holocaust, I am decidedly less empathetic to his methods, but attempt to be clinical and logical in throwing a spotlight on his hypocrisy and fallacious reasoning.

In looking for information about this latest development, I read pieces by NPR, Fox News and The Wall Street Journal.  While they differed in tone, a bit, from liberal to conservative outlets, they reported basically the same information, so I consider the information coming out about it reliable.  Interestingly, I searched the Komen website and was unable to find out any information at all on the end of their partnership with Planned Parenthood.  The articles report, though, that funding was pulled because Planned Parenthood is under investigation.  The deafening cheers from anti-abortion groups makes this claim seem disingenuous, to say the least.

Here’s what kills me, though.  In applauding Komen’s decision, Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said “The work of the Komen Foundation has life-saving potential and should not be intertwined with an industry dealing in death.”  REALLY???  What the hell does THAT mean?  That it sometimes involves decisions that result in death?  Let’s go over some of the other industries and groups that “deal in death” as part of their efforts to save lives.

1.  Medical

2.  Law Enforcement

3.  Gun manufacturing

4.  Death Penalty advocates

5.  Drug manufacturing

6.  Military

Shall I go on?   And, I’d love to know what Komen will do with that money instead.  Will they create mobil screening trucks or set up labs in the underserved communities Planned Parenthood serves?  What will they do to make up for the hundreds of thousands screenings that will NOT take place in Planned Parenthood clinics in the next few years as a result of revoking this funding?  How many poor, underprivileged women will find out about their breast cancer too late because of this?

Shame on you, Komen.  Shame on you for declaring loud and clear that in certain parts of this country, a fetus’ existence (viable or not) is more important than a woman’s.

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  • http://www.mommypants.com Cheryl @ Mommypants

    Yes. Yes. Also, yes.

    Check out one of the comments on my blog.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      I just checked out ALL of the comments on your blog. And left one of my own in response to the “one” I believe you referred me to. And now, I will ride my tricycle naked. ;-)

  • Leslie F. Miller

    When I was in college, Planned Parenthood was our gynecologist. We lived in the city, and we’d go to the one on North Avenue (I think). They did our regular checkups, and they gave us rubbers and pills.

    I’m getting tired of all the political pussies. But—and I apologize for this—I insist that they stay out of mine. I am willing to take up arms for this cause. Because I know that they only difference between the Democans and Republicrats is that one of them has the good sense to steer clear. And they will always get my vote.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Huzzah. I am with you, 100%. Thanks for commenting, Leslie!

  • Rachel W.C.

    say it, sister!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Thanks, girlie!

  • http://iedarla.wordpress.com iedarla

    Komen has gone political if you ask me. They are bowing to pressure for federal funding most likely. Rather than concentrating on women’s health issues and continuing to be funded privately.

    Planned parenthood is a necessity that our society needs. My daughter has full health care, but she uses Planned Parenthood for her birth control, because through her insurance it is too expensive.

    I hate to say it as a republican, if it were up to the conservatives they would bomb women’s health issues and the right to abortion back to the stone age. For me I will no longer support the Komen Foundation.

    Nicely done.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Listen, there are such things as moderate, open-minded, fair-thinking Republicans – many of them, in fact. You should be proud to be one of them, and a lot of them agree with you. Thanks so much for commenting, and your kind words.

  • http://iedarla.wordpress.com iedarla

    Unfortunately “Moderate” and fair thinkers are not part of the political scenery. I am more than disgusted with the whole thing. And that’s another discussion…

    We the people are out in the cold while Corporate america battles to stay on top, Foundations like The Komen foundation looses sight of it’s goal and he we sit… The people, the women, the children, the veterans, no jobs no healthcare, no future… Yeah I am pissed at the entire thing. It makes me sick.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      100% agreed.

  • joe

    I never knew Planned Parenthood provided this. How many women actually receive breast screenings and exams each year through Planned Parenthood? How many women would potentially be effected by this, assuming they neither could nor would receive their screenings and exams from another provider.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

    According to Planned Parenthood, it has provided about 4 million breast exams over the past 5 years, and approximately 170,000 were the result of Komen funding. I don’t know specifically, per year, but if that number is accurate, the average is close to 30,000 women per year. The money from Komen was divided used by 19 PP affiliates, I think…

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

    Amazing. Komen has reversed its decision, and will continue to fund breast exams and screenings at PP. This, according to the NYT and MSNBC. Just amazing. I believe this is far from over, and I am absolutely fascinated to see what comes next.


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