Pink is Out

Full disclosure:  I was a volunteer for Planned Parenthood working at a clinic where I did everything including counseling young women who were pregnant.  I won an award as volunteer of the year.  I still contribute money.  I will be increasing that contribution.  I don’t think there is anything that can convince people that Planned Parenthood does not sell abortions.  Many clinics provide only women’s health care including breast exams.  Clinics that provide abortions still mainly offer health care.  Since abortions are legal and it can be difficult to obtain, this is, to me, a public service also.  The really sad part about the Susan G. Komen Foundation decision to withdraw funding from some Planned Parenthood clinics is that it will make early detection of breast cancer difficult for many young and poor women.

Planned Parenthood

Pam Belluck writes in the New York Times

The move will halt financing to 19 of Planned Parenthood’s 83 affiliates, which received nearly $700,000 from the Komen foundation last year and have been receiving similar grants since at least 2005.

Planned Parenthood contends that the Komen foundation is yielding to longstanding pressure from anti-abortion groups, which Komen denies.

Writing in the Washington Post column She the People, Lori Stahl writes

“Not about politics” is the part that even some of  Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s most loyal supporters might question.The Dallas-based organization, which is the country’s biggest breast cancer charity, insisted its controversial decision to defund Planned Parenthood affiliates was made only in light of Komen’s new policy against supporting agencies that are under investigation. (The congressional investigation itself was launched by a conservative Republican and spurred by antiabortion groups.)

The decision was “not about politics,” a Komen statement insisted.

But the truth is that Komen founder Nancy Brinker has strong Republican ties and Cecile Richards, who leads Planned Parenthood, is daughter of late Texas Gov. Ann Richards and has longtime Democratic Party ties. Also worth noting: This is an election year.

Brinker, a longtime GOP donor who was ambassador to Hungary under then-President George W. Bush, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2009. She has cast Komen as above politics, saying its focus is women’s health.

But the decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood comes shortly after Komen unveiled a new partnership that strengthens its ties to the George W. Bush Institute. The institute is the policy-making arm of Bush’s presidential library, which is scheduled to open in Dallas next year.

It appears that the Komen Foundation has been co-opted by those opposing abortion even at the cost of women’s health.  According to the Times

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, said that the decision “came so abruptly in the face of a long, good, working relationship with Komen” and that the change in financing criteria “was written specifically to address the political pressure that they’ve been under.”

Ms. Richards said all of Planned Parenthood’s affiliates provided around 770,000 women with breast examinations and paid for mammograms and ultrasounds for those who needed and could not afford further diagnostic services. She said she received the news from the Komen foundation in late December and had requested a meeting with officials there to discuss the matter but was rebuffed.

“Until really recently, the Komen foundation had been praising our breast health programs as essential,” Ms. Richards said. “This really abrupt about-face was very surprising. I think that the Komen foundation has been bullied by right-wing groups.”

I don’t think I have ever advocated for contributions for a cause before on this blog, but I am today.  Give money to Planned Parenthood.  Give money to the new Breast Health Emergency Fund.  Here is a link.  And stop walking in the Komen walks and giving them money.  They appear more interested in appeasing their anti-abortion supporters than promoting breast health.  This is not about abortion.  This is about breast cancer.