Planned Parenthood saves lives

Planned Parenthood saves lives February 2, 2012

Attacking, demonizing and defunding Planned Parenthood, therefore, costs lives. The lives of women and children. Mostly, but not only, poor women and children.

So if you tell me you dislike or disapprove of or oppose Planned Parenthood because you are “pro-life” I will be forced to conclude that you are using words you do not understand. Perhaps you do not understand what the words “Planned Parenthood” refer to — maybe you’ve been horribly misled about the work that vital organization performs for people who have no other place to turn. Or perhaps you do not understand what the word “pro-life” suggests. Or maybe both.

But while you clearly do not understand the words you are saying, if you say that you dislike or disapprove of or oppose Planned Parenthood because you are “pro-life,” you are communicating one thing very clearly. You are telling all who can hear you that what is most important to you, what you regard as most morally consequential, is your self-image. You are telling us that you value your own esteem of yourself on your own terms far more than you value the lives of poor women and children.

That is what I hear you saying. That is what poor women and children hear you saying. And that is what everyone who knows or cares about any woman or child who is poor will hear you saying. Because that is what you are saying and, really, that is all you are saying.

So please stop saying that.

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Anna Clark: “Komen Foundation Races for the Cuts

The impact of the lost funding on preventive health care for Planned Parenthood is substantial. Over five years, Planned Parenthood clinics have provided about 170,000 clinical breast exams and 70,000 mammogram referrals with Komen funding. It also pays for mammograms and ultrasounds for those who need them but cannot afford them. Nationally, Planned Parenthood provides about 770,000 breast cancer screenings each year. To stave off a financial bloodletting after the cessation of Komen’s support, Planned Parenthood has launched a Breast Health Emergency Fund to bring in immediate funding for local clinics to provide cancer screenings, care, and education.

Liz Winstead, on Susan G. Komen for the Cure executive Karen Handel:

“I think she said it herself when she was running for governor, when she said, ‘I don’t support the mission of Planned Parenthood,’” Winstead said on Current TV’s Countdown.

“And the mission of Planned Parenthood is to provide affordable health care for low-income women. And if you don’t support that mission, I don’t know how you can call yourself pro-life in the least.”

Amanda Marcotte: “Susan G. Komen’s Act of Cowardice

The existence of breast-cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood has always been a thorn in the anti-choice side. Most of Planned Parenthood’s services are related to the choice to be sexually active — contraception, STD screening and treatment, cervical cancer screening — making it easy to write off those services as unnecessary if you follow the strict abstinence-only prescription the Christian right has for women. Breast cancer, however, can strike the lifelong virgin, the married woman who only has sex for procreation, and the dirty fornicator (i.e. the vast majority of American women) alike. Because of this, anti-choicers have tried to create a rift between women’s health advocates who focus on breast cancer and those who focus on reproductive health concerns below the waist. Today, they had a victory with Komen’s act of cowardice.

No matter how much anti-choicers wish otherwise, it’s not feasible to create an approach to women’s health that separates good girl concerns from bad girl concerns.

TBogg: “The Pink Badge of Cowardice

It’s rare when you see such a high profile organization [soil] the bed so spectacularly particularly in the case where people can not only refuse to donate to the Komen Foundation, but also boycott all the products that carry the  Komen Pink Ribbon of Caring logo, for which the Komen people are paid handsomely.

Mary Elizabeth Williams: “Komen for the Cure sells out women, again

Komen remains pretty damn territorial around that whole “cure” thing. In a 2010 story for the Huffington Post, writer Laura Bassett pointed out that, according to Komen’s own financial records, it spends almost “a million dollars a year in donor funds” aggressively going after other organizations that dare to use the phrase “for the cure” – including small charities like Kites for a Cure, Par for the Cure, Surfing for a Cure, Cupcakes for a Cure, and even a dog-sledding event called Mush for the Cure. Let me just give you that number again. A million bucks a year. Robert Smith, better watch your back.


John Scalzi: “EBooks for Breast Cancer Screening and Education (via Geds)

What it means is that poor women, and women with poor access to women’s health care, are getting screwed again for reasons that have nothing to do with them. I know, I know, these women should have thought about reasonable access to health care pertaining to their own gender before they decided to go ahead and be poor. It’s their own fault, isn’t it. The poor. So stupid. And in this case women to boot. So they count even less. And if they have to rely on health services from an organization that also offers legal health services some people oppose, well, then they deserve what they get even more, don’t they.

The Komen folks are perfectly within their rights not to fund Planned Parenthood’s initiatives for breast cancer screening and education, even if they’re not honest enough to come right out and say it’s part of an overall right-wing agenda against Planned Parenthood. But I don’t think it’s right that poor women get caught in the crossfire. They don’t deserve to die just because they can’t afford to catch their cancer early.

… So, between today and February 8, 2012, every time you buy a Subterranean Press eBook written by me here in the United States, the proceeds are going to Planned Parenthood. I will direct that the donation go specifically toward their breast cancer screening and educational activities, to help replace the funding lost from the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Planned Parenthood donation page.

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