Susan G Komen Foundation Follows Pro-Life Line; Stops Contributing to Planned Parenthood

via Jezebel – The Susan G Komen For the Cure partnership with Planned Parenthood to provide mammogram breast examinations screening for breast cancer has been terminated by the Susan G Komen Foundation, citing an organisational rule that bars them from contributing to organizations that are under investigation at the local, state, or federal level (not just organisations who have been found to have a case to answer, just being under investigation, for anything at all). This decision comes closely on the heels of the addition of a vocal anti-abortion and anti-PP ex-politician to the senior policy ranks of the Komen Foundation.

Yet again, the pro-life movement betrays its classism – forget all those other reproductive health care services Planned Parenthood (and only Planned Parenthood, in many areas) provides – services that help poor women survive and thrive in pregnancy and birthing, and that keep them healthy to raise their children.  Since PP  provides abortions as well they want to have the whole operation defunded, and if poor women can no longer find affordable screenings for breast or cervical cancer, or can no longer find affordable obsetric care, then that’s just to bad for them and their children.

It doesn’t matter to the pro-life zealots, because they and theirs can afford to get all those other reproductive services easily, and don’t care that other women cannot.  And of course the idea that sometimes women have their own reasons for not wanting to continue a pregnancy, or health reasons requiring a pregnancy be aborted, has never mattered.

The fact that the “rule” they’re relying on has transparently been introduced just for the purpose of breaking off their support for PP?  Just makes it even more indefensible.

Also?  Getting the loudest subset of women who care about the health of other women angry with your decision to stop supporting healthcare for women? Telling people to donate to other organisations instead? Does this really sound like it’s in the best interests of the Komen Foundation’s mission to raise funds for curing cancer?

The pro-life zealots are so determined to sabotage Planned Parenthood that they are willing to take down one of the most visible and effective fundraising groups for research/treatment of cancers that affect primarily women in the USA. Sure, many feminists have criticised the way that they’ve pinkified cancer with their glamour-focussed campaigns, but everybody knows that they raise a lot of money for women’s health.

The pro-life zealots show no concern that destroying the Komen Foundation’s brand, by eroding the trust and goodwill that it has built up over decades, is going to have huge negative impacts on the health of hundreds and thousands of women. That’s how much they really care about women’s health.

[Image Credit: index thumbnail image: I Stand With Planned Parenthood via Mama Rants]

Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, social justice

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14 replies

  1. This is so appalling, I have no words. I commented on Komen’s facebook wall. I can’t believe that they’d just throw away the goodwill that they’ve built up over the years and risk losing a large number of donors. One thing’s for sure: Any money that I would have donated to Komen will go directly to Planned Parenthood.

  2. Some tweeps are noting that the Komen Foundation has never particularly positioned itself as pro-choice despite the breast screening partnership with Planned Parenthood – for them this decision is possibly as much about targeting an untapped demographic (anti-abortion folks with money) as it may be driven by Karen Handel’s anti-PP views.
    So it may not be a betrayal so much, but it’s still a move based on pandering to partisan views at the cost of supporting actual women’s health.

  3. So the way I read this, basically, they are trading the lives and well being of women to court a potential cash flow?! That’s worse than any perceived betrayal . Oh America, you make my head and heart hurt.

  4. Hey pro-lifers, when you going to finally care about life? The lives of actual women?

  5. Slacktivist has a nice take on this.

  6. So it may not be a betrayal so much, but it’s still a move based on pandering to partisan views at the cost of supporting actual women’s health.
    It may not be a betrayal of the pro-choice cause, but it’s still an action complicit in the ongoing destruction of a vital health provider to women, especially poor women. And that makes it still a betrayal of women.

    • Nice clarification, Sunless Nick. Not a betrayal of pro-choice views that the Komen Foundation has never claimed to hold, still very much a betrayal of women.

  7. Here is a petition that can be signed internationally.

  8. I can only imagine that this will be the start of a marked decline for Komen; much like the democrats, they expected feminists would always just be there.
    Now they’ll find that crossing their core demographic is a stupid move. It’s already taught me more about Komen’s practises than they’d ever want me to know. For instance, if it weren’t for Komen’s refusal to fund mamograms at PP, I’d have never found out that Komen is extremely lawsuit-happy. Apparently they prefer to spend money suing other charities for using “for the cure” or “for a cure” in their names or descriptions to actual research.
    I’m with Galla. Susan G. Komen for the Cure has lost all of my respect, and any donations I was planning to give them will now definitely be going to Planned Parenthood.

    • Useful link:

      For instance, if it weren’t for Komen’s refusal to fund mamograms at PP,

      It’s important to distinguish between “breast cancer screening” and “mammograms” – PP does not own a single mammogram machine: they refer clients who need one to other services, and AIUI they don’t fund those referrals. The breast cancer screening services PP offer have always been physical examinations (and teaching women how to do self examinations).
      The anti-abortion crowd are already calling PP liars/fraudsters about offering breast screening services at all because PP don’t own any mammogram machines. Don’t let them frame the argument for you and then play gotcha about mammograms. Besides, it’s also a chance for education for people (seemingly a whole lot of journalists, just for a start) who don’t realise that mammograms shouldn’t be the first step in breast cancer screening anyway.

      • According to further information I have read, PP does fund at least part of the fee for the radiographer who administers the mammograms they refer their clients for. So it’s an even bigger lie from the anti-choicers – PP has been providing mammograms with the Komen money, it’s just that they’re done off-site.

  9. They’ve reversed the decision!

  10. I agree with the second article that PP may reconsider whether to even go for SGK money anymore – they only got 680,000 last year (peanuts in either’s budget AFAICT) and according to this article, they’ve got over 3 million in extra donations the last few days (and I know some donations won’t be in yet, like John Scalzi’s effort at Whatever).

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