“Planned Parenthood screened me for cancer. PRIORITIZE EXISTING CITIZENS!”
House Republicans are laying the groundwork for another battle withover spending and domestic policy with a bill that would cut some of his favorite health and education programs, tie the hands of the National Labor Relations Board and eliminate federal grants for Planned Parenthood clinics.
The bill, which finances the Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services, would prohibit Mr. Obama from spending more money to carry out the newuntil all legal challenges to the law were resolved.
The bill stipulates that no more federal money could be spent on the government’s main family planning program, Title X of the Public Health Service Act, established more than 40 years ago. The program provides services to more than five million people a year at more than 4,500 clinics.
Under the bill, no money “may be made available for any purpose” to Planned Parenthood clinics unless they certify that they will not perform abortions. The clinics provide a wide range of health services and perform more than 300,000 abortions a year.
My sister-in-law died of breast cancer at the age of 33. In the last years of her life, as she bravely fought the disease, she came in contact with multiple groups claiming to be about saving the lives of breast cancer patients. Many were exactly about that and some were critical and extremely important to her in the last months of her life.
But she always said that Komen wasn’t genuine, that they were about their own name more than the cancer or the people it affected. I never knew how to process that and she didn’t ever really elaborate. It was something about how much of their fundraising went back into the foundation instead of into research to actually find a cure.
Certainly this isn’t true on the local level or across the company at large. I’m sure there are plenty of people who work for Komen, donate their time to Komen, etc. who do it for all the right reasons.
But as an organization, they fucking suck and they will never receive one more ounce of my support or my money. If you want a place to donate, PLANNED PARENTHOOD would be one. Another good one is the BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION.
This is INCREDIBLY personal to me. My heart HURTS over this decision by Komen. I’m visibly shaken and my emotions are all over the place right now.
Shame on you, Komen. Shame. on. you.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America today expressed deep disappointment in response to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s decision to stop funding breast cancer prevention, screenings and education at Planned Parenthood health centers. Anti-choice groups in America have repeatedly threatened the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood to provide these lifesaving cancer screenings and news articles suggest that the Komen Foundation ultimately succumbed to these pressures.
In the last few weeks, the Komen Foundation has begun notifying local Planned Parenthood programs that their breast cancer initiatives will not be eligible for new grants (beyond existing agreements or plans). The Komen Foundation’s leadership did not respond to Planned Parenthood requests to meet with the Komen Board of Directors about the decision.
To ensure that the Komen Foundation’s decision doesn’t jeopardize any woman’s access to lifesaving screenings and services, Planned Parenthood has launched a Breast Health Emergency Fund. The fund will offset the support that 19 local Planned Parenthood programs stand to lose from Komen. The Komen-funded Planned Parenthood programs have helped thousands of women in rural and underserved communities get breast health education, screenings, and referrals for mammograms.
Over the past five years, Planned Parenthood health centers with Komen program funding have provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams out of the more than four million clinical breast exams performed nationwide at Planned Parenthood health centers, as well as more than 6,400 mammogram referrals out of 70,000 mammogram referrals. Anti-choice groups in America have repeatedly threatened the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood to provide these lifesaving cancer screenings.
Planned Parenthood’s quality, accessibility and affordability make it a leader in identifying breast cancer early when there is the best chance of successful treatment. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provide nearly 750,000 breast cancer screenings annually, offering risk assessments, breast exams, breast health information and education, and diagnostic and surgical referrals.
Led by a generous $250,000 gift from Amy and Lee Fikes’ foundation, Planned Parenthood has established a Breast Health Emergency Fund to provide immediate funding to ensure that Planned Parenthood health centers can continue to provide breast cancer screenings and care that had previously been supported by Komen.
[As someone who lives with a man who has to get regular screenings for breast cancer, there are obviously more people just those who identify as “women” who need and want access to breast cancer screenings.]
So Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure today announced that they will no longer give any funding to Planned Parenthood.
This funding allowed Planned Parenthood to provide breast examinations and referrals for mammography and ultrasound to patients at their health centers, patients who were able to be seen and treated at Planned Parenthood regardless of income or insurance, because of Planned Parenthood’s sliding scale fees and commitment to treating as many people as possible.
In the aftermath of this, which has turned into a flurry of opinion and counter-opinion, deleted comments on Komen’s Facebook wall, and a tweetstorm of epic proportion, some salient points worth consideration:
While pressuring Komen to reverse this decision is an option (and there is already an online petition going for that purpose) it seems unlikely to be effective. I am decidedly pessimistic about Komen walking back from this precipice.
Komen has said that this decision arose from a new policy of not funding any organization that is under government investigation. Since Planned Parenthood was already under investigation when the policy was changed, it’s pretty clear that the policy was targeting PP.
Moreover, this Komen policy and the subsequent de-funding came quickly behind the hiring of Karen Handel as Komen’s Senior Vice President for Public Policy. Those in Georgia recall that in 2010 Handel ran for governor of Georgia with a extremely anti-choice platform. This woman is responsible for policy decisions for Komen, and she is clearly opposed to Planned Parenthood.
And we cannot forget that the founder of Komen, Nancy Brinker, has long been tied to the highest ranks of Republican politics.
Komen didn’t cave to external pressure from the right wing, because the right wing is intrinsic to the executive power structure of Komen.
Those who rely upon Planned Parenthood as their health provider, who still need breast examinations, who still need funded referrals when there is an issue, well, they’re collateral damage in a culture war that begin more than 30 years ago and has always had its sights set not just on Planned Parenthood but any organization that supported or affiliated with them.
So where do we go from here?
Well we give Komen the business. We email (email@example.com), we tweet (@komenforthecure), we call (972-701-2168). We absolutely refuse to donate, not directly, not by buying pink ribbon festooned (and pinkwashed) products, not by sponsoring someone for a 5K or a 3 day walk. So long as Komen plays politics with human lives, they should not see another single penny of our money.
But more importantly, far more importantly, we do donate to Planned Parenthood, we go over and above the money that they will lose because of Komen, we get every penny we can to Planned Parenthood to ensure that no one will go without a needed cancer screening, no one’s life will be placed at risk because of where they get their medical care.
Planned Parenthood — and its clients, by extension — must be our primary concern and our primary focus. The political battle will always be there, it can be put on hold for a while. The patients whose care is hanging in the balance cannot wait.
We must keep our focus, we must redouble our commitment, we must step into the breech.
Join me in making a tax-deductible donation to Planned Parenthood right now.
FUCK YEAH, AMADI!
This is for all the anti-choice, anti-women people out there. Listen up.
You can spend every minute of every day trying to force the rest of us to live by your ideology. You can go after federal funds for health care and pressure private organizations like the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to stop funding breast cancer screenings for poor women. You can try to make it impossible to get birth control.
But you know what you can’t do? You can’t win. You can’t break us. Planned Parenthood isn’t just a family of organizations. It’s a movement. It’s women and men of all ages who believe that health care — including reproductive health care — is a basic human right. We are millions strong. We are everywhere. We act, we give, and we do whatever it takes to make sure that Planned Parenthood is there for the women, men, and teens who rely on them.
Know this: When you go after Planned Parenthood and the people they serve, you go after ME. I stand with Planned Parenthood. I stand with them against anyone who wants to stop women from receiving the health care they need. I stand with them today, tomorrow, and for as long as I need to.
I stand with Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood raised at least $650,000. Keep it going.