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A Very Reasonable Plea

February 1, 2012

The following is by far the best response I’ve read regarding the explosive ending between The Komen Foundation for the Cure and Planned Parenthood. It comes from the blog of Dr. Susan Love. I think she has a very reasonable plea.

Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Do Only Some Lives Matter?

The Komen Foundation for the Cure has announced it will no longer give grants to provide breast exams and mammograms through Planned Parenthood affiliates. Komen states that this has nothing to do with the “Right to Life” but rather the fact that Planned Parenthood is being investigated. According to the New York Times the investigation is by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups. This is sad. Investigation does not mean guilt. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Pro-choice should be just that. The woman gets to choose—to choose where the money she sweated through runs and walks to raise should be spent! Pro-life should mean not just the lives of babies, but also the lives of women! This is not an either or situation.

Patrick Hurd is the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia, a recipient of a 2010 grant from Komen. He is also the husband of a breast cancer survivor who is the veteran of several Komen fundraising races. As he told the Associated Press: “Cancer doesn’t care if you’re pro-choice, anti-choice, progressive, conservative, victims of cancer could care less about people’s politics.”

Rather than putting politics into the breast cancer movement, lets rise above the political divisions and work together. Let’s redirect all the money that will be spent on investigating Planned Parenthood into funding studies looking to find the cause and prevent the disease once and for all. Let’s redirect our anger to making mammograms unnecessary because we know how to prevent the disease.

Do you think the needs of cancer patients are being overlooked and disregarded for the political agendas of those involved?  Mind you, breast cancer remains incurable.  

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara @ Periwinkle Papillon February 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Exactly.

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Dana Greger February 2, 2012 at 5:50 am

In addition to the “excuse” that PP is under investigation, PP also hired a new VP for public policy last spring. Karen Handel had run for Georgia governor as a conservative pro-lifer. Here is a quote from her campaign trail:
“I will be a pro-life governor who will work tirelessly to promote a culture of life in Georgia…. I believe that each and every unborn child has inherent dignity, that every abortion is a tragedy, and that government has a role, along with the faith community, in encouraging women to choose life in even the most difficult of circumstances…. since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.”
So yes, PP has made this a political decision as the expense of lives. While PP may receive a temporary boost of financial support, who knows if they can sustain it. This is so very very sad.

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Wendy February 2, 2012 at 8:27 am

I have no doubts about the agenda of SGK’s biggest players. I completely agree this is very sad but I have to say that I’m really not that surprised. Personal agenda and $ obviously outweigh their mission “to save lives and end breast cancer forever.”

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Ann Bond March 8, 2012 at 8:29 am

What I’ve never understood is, don’t the Karen Handel’s and all the conservative politicans of the world have anybody close to them fearing, suffering or dying from breast cancer? I’m sure everybody does. Don’t they want every possible thing done that can help diagnose and treat the people they know who are suffering? It’s hard for me to believe that politicans don’t understand that the greater the pool of people, rich or poor, being diagnosed and treated, means the greater the chance of finding a cure. And, of course, this takes funding.

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AnneMarie February 2, 2012 at 5:58 am

You are singing my song, Wendy. Hope you will take a peek at my entries from yesterday and today. Dr. Love and Army of Women are our best bet. Can’t be bought and are in this for the RIGHT reasons….

AnneMarie

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Wendy February 2, 2012 at 8:30 am

Fingers crossed that Dr. Love and Army of Women get some well deserved exposure from this fall out. I know several peers who are abandoning their support of SGK and I hope that with this post they can find another organization to support.

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Anne February 2, 2012 at 6:21 am

I think this is very well said. One thing that really bothers me about this whole situation is that *after* Sterns initiated the investigation into PP, SGK changed their policy to no longer give to organizations under investigation. To me, this screams of them looking for a reason to stop giving to PP and trying to come up with a “reasonable” explanation for doing so. I hate that politics of some of SGK’s top people are interfering with women’s access to healthcare.

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Wendy February 2, 2012 at 8:31 am

Yes Anne, SGK’s new policy is surely convenient, isn’t it?

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Ashley February 2, 2012 at 8:47 am

This makes me so mad that I’m almost unable to talk about it. The ability to use politics to deny medical treatment to women is so appalling that I can’t believe it. Susan G Komen should be ashamed to have caved to pressure from right wing politicians who consider abortion to be SUCH an issue for them to debate that they are ignoring everything else. I think our country has a few more problems to deal with than what a woman chooses to do with her body. Denying other women care and preventative medicine to make a point is sad and there will be medical ramifications from this. Sad. Sad. Sad.

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Gucci Mama February 2, 2012 at 8:49 am

I cannot imagine how it’s rational to be “pro-choice” regarding abortion but not when it comes to how a private charity chooses to distribute donations. Not only is PP under federal investigation, but several clinics countrywide have been forced out of operation for despicable ethics violations. Would you do business with an organization like that? I sure wouldn’t.

Furthermore, Planned Parenthood’s net assets last year totallef over one billion dollars. The money SGK provided (that funded mostly breast cancer REFERRALS, not actual screenings) was the equivalent of pocket change.

The hype about low income women losing access to cancer screenings is laughably false. Not only could Planned Parenthood easily afford to do (or continue to simply refer for) cancer screenings if their true concern was for wonen’s health and not simply taking advantage of this situation to push their radical agenda, but there are several other resources. Virtually every city or town with a PP “clinic” also has free or sliding scale clinics that women can take advantage of. There is also state aid for women in need.

This isn’t sad. This is progress. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

And now I believe I’ll go write a big fat check to Komen, something I’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t justify until now.

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Wendy February 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Thanks for your comment Gucci Mama. I respect your opinion and I don’t even totally disagree with it.

With that said, I think all this SGK and PP drama muddies the water and everyone is losing sight that breast cancer remains incurable. Honestly, I could give two shits about the SGK and PP relationship. I care only about a cure being discovered. It’s ok – call me selfish – because I know this disease will eventually kill me some day so to sit here and read about people being upset over politics and agendas kind of pisses me off.

I do encourage you to write a fat check to Komen as I’m certain they do indeed do some good with their money. What makes your comment sad though is that you couldn’t justify donating to finding a breast cancer cure until now – and you’re doing it just to be spiteful.

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Gucci Mama February 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I’m absolutely not doing it to be “spiteful”. I’m doing it now because they’ve stopped supporting an organization that harms women. Planned Parenthood is destructive and I would never financially support an organization that supports them. My firmly held beliefs and ideals have nothing to do with spite.

I agree with you in that the focus needs to be on finding a cure. Instead of helping to put it there, you seem to have joined in the vilification of SGK for defunding PP who, according to their own website, merely provides referrals for mammograms, not mammograms themselves.

Don’t you suppose that SGK would do better to provide grants to an organization that actually provides mammography and other cancer screening services?

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Kelly February 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I agree with you Gucci Mama. As a young mom who is currently in treatment for breast cancer (and has been for the past 3 years), I feel like I (like Wendy) can speak from the perspective of someone who greatly benefits from the work that Komen does. I had no idea that money from Komen even went to PP and I personally find that to be shocking when our local chapter of a Breast Cancer program, that depends on grants from SGK, had to be shut down for several years because we were not awarded any grants.

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