Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Susan G. Komen Foundation's Noble Decision to De-Fund Planned Parenthood

Yesterday, it was announced that the Susan G. Komen Foundation will be defunding Planned Parenthood.  Last year they donated roughly $680,000.  The public response to this decision has baffled me.  People who formerly supported SGKF are now backing away from the organization because they believe the decision was politically motivated.

Ok.

I just don't get it.

It offends me that SGKF would back an organization like PP.  It offends others that they wouldn't.  Why?  My reasons are moral--I am opposed to the practice of abortion.  Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading abortion provider and in NO WAY do I want to support their activities.  There are plenty of other free or low-cost options out there for women to go get breast cancer screenings and other healthcare.  Why does SGKF have to give money to the most controversial if, as the people who are outraged by the foundation's decision claim, this is all about breast cancer screenings and not about abortion?  Why do they have to give their money to PP?  Would it satisfy if they gave the $680K to a different medical outfit that provided breast cancer screenings?  One that is not under congressional investigation?  Again, why does it have to be PP?

The fact that SGKF gave money to PP has been an issue for me in the past.  It has caused me not to support their cause because they were aligned with an organization that I am morally opposed to.  BUT, I am not opposed to fighting breast cancer.  I don't know anyone who is morally opposed to fighting breast cancer.  My moral misgivings about PP outweighed my conviction to support SGKF.  I know I'm not the only one here.  So now people are up in arms saying that they will be unsupportive of SGKF because of their decision.  This is crazy.  These are the same people who say that it's "just about breast screenings".  If that is the truth, then this decision shouldn't matter to them!  By their actions, we can deduce that it isn't about women's healthcare or breast cancer detection, because if it were, they would continue to be supportive of the SGKF, regardless of their ties (or lack thereof) to Planned Parenthood.  Sure, they could be bummed out about it, but if it were truly NOT political to them, but only about women's health, they would continue to stand behind what the SGKF is doing.

I think it is noble of the SGKF organization to distance themselves from organizations like PP that are currently under congressional investigation, and that have had some particularly horrible reports come out recently with regard to covering up sex abuse.  The travesty is not that PP won't be getting money from SGKF--I am sure that they will send their money to other organizations that exist to truly help women.  The real travesty is that the SGKF is being demonized for this decision despite all of the good that they have done for women in the fight against breast cancer.  They exist to combat breast cancer--to "Fight for the Cure."  They can do this with a far greater reach, and across more political boundaries because they chose to defund PP.  After all, no matter where any of us stand with regard to PP's practices, we would all like to see a cure to breast cancer.