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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Komen Reverses Course On Planned Parenthood…For Now

After several days of unmitigated disaster — bad press, angry donors, baffled supporters, unwelcome scrutiny — the leaders of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s leading advocate for breast cancer research, moved to restore their credibility and calm the roiling waters that threatened to drown the organization in unfavorable reviews. It quickly became clear to Nancy Brinker, founder and CEO, that she had besmirched her brand with a politically driven decision to end a longstanding partnership with Planned Parenthood.

But the carefully worded public statement Komen released last week doesn’t quite end the story. Advocates for women’s health should watch carefully over the next several months to see whether Brinker and her board care more about helping less-affluent women get breast cancer screenings than they do about placating the anti-choice crowd.

For years now, Komen has been pressured by rigid anti-abortionists to stop making grants to Planned Parenthood, caricatured by its critics as solely an abortion provider. Last year, for example, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, citing grants to Planned Parenthood, halted a brief campaign in which it sold pink bibles and donated some of the proceeds to Komen.

That pressure will only increase if the hardline anti-abortionists believe they had a near-victory snatched away suddenly. Komen may be looking for a quieter and less-obvious route to the same place: ending a relationship with a women’s health partner that has unfairly become a lightning rod.

Let’s look at the facts: Last year, abortions accounted for about 3 percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood. Most of its funds go to a broad array of other women’s reproductive health services.

While its clinics across the country vary, most provide contraception. Many provide gynecological exams, treat sexually transmitted diseases and provide pre-natal care. (Yes, that’s right: Planned Parenthood provides medical care to pregnant women.) And some give vouchers for mammograms. That’s about as pro-life as it gets.

But leaders of the anti-abortion movement use a narrow and mean definition for that term, excluding children once they are out of the womb, women too poor to pay for mammograms and even pregnant women without medical insurance. Their health and welfare don’t get much notice from the pious right.

That includes ambitious politicians like Karen Handel, the Georgia politician who may have played a prominent role in Komen’s troubling initial decision. In 2010, Handel, Georgia’s former secretary of state, lost a bid to become governor despite an endorsement from Sarah Palin. Komen hired her last April as senior vice president for public policy.

  • Lead_Dog

    Just because someone “won” a Pulitzer does not mean what they say now has any more worth than the next person. Obama has a Nobel Prize for basically having a ghost writer write a story of fiction/fact about his life.

  • nursecrd

    Abortion is a touchy subject. I have come close to losing a good friend over the subject. Abortion is a personal choice and that is what the Supreme Court made clear with Roe v Wade. Government has no business in telling us what we should or should not do. Several social conservatives I have spoken with want to use the power of the government to get their way yet conservatives in general want government out of our lives and homes.

    Frankly, Planned Parenthood is an organization that provides services to woman who cannot get them anywhere else. Social Conservatives think that everyone will adopt the baby. What about all of the kids in the pipeline right now that no one will take/adopt? What about the child born with horrible birth defects that suffers dumbly? Social conservatives are blind to the rights of this child to die with dignity.

    I have been in the medical profession for more than thirty years. I have seen the suffering of adults, children and infants to where it is nearly torture. I have spoken with other medical professionals who have left because they can no longer abet the suffering of these people. Social conservatives are blind to this also.

  • fordneri

    PPFA should secure it’s own source of funding from people who believe as strongly in the cause of complete womens heathcare services as they do. Similarly the Catholic Church should fund it’s religious mission using funds provided by people who believe in their cause. If Komen’s decision to end it’s funding of PPFA was politically motivated. That motivation was based on fears of Komen losing some sort of federal funding if it did not give in to threats eminating from Capitol Hill. We as a nation need to vote out politicians who are offering Churches and Charities a seat at our legislative table and keys to the treasury and vote in politicians who are able and willing to fulfil the mission they campaigned on using the government agencies that are in place to accomplish those missions. Keep your Church and Charities out of my government and I will make sure my government does not interfere with your Church or Charity.

  • jimackermann

    It amazes me that we use abortion as a form of birth control and call it “Womens Health”. The we prance around with the notion of it’s a woman’s right to choose; choose what? Abortion as a form of birth control. If you’re not smart enough to use normal birth control methods, stay out of the sack.

  • valszy

    I am certainly pro-life, against capital punishment, generally a pacifist (WWII was a necessity), and very much trust a woman to make any choices for her unborn child (as does God/nature apparently since He chose to have her carry the baby inside her until it is ready to come into the world). I believe a great many of the anti-choice (does not make them “pro-life”) crowd are more concerned about making those naughty girls pay for their sins than they are in saving the lives of unborn children.

  • valszy

    The first line of the first amendment reads ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, the key word being “respecting”. How is granting a religion, any religion, tax free status not “respecting an establishment of religion” When someone like Romney gives millions to his religion and gets a tax break for it, that means all other U.S. taxpayers are in effect subsidizing the Mormon faith. Think about it, your tax dollars helped pay the legal bills of pedophile priests, or the building of a temple or mosque.

  • Ann Claps

    I was quite outraged upon learning of this ridulous behavior; I immediately sent a donation to Planned Parenthood & will do so again if this intolerance continues!

  • charliewatkins

    I PERSONALLY don’t believe in abortion, but I also don’t believe I have the right to force my beliefs on others, after all it won’t be me suffering the consequences of their actions. I believe that it was wrong to cut funding to Planned Parenthood simply because of their stance on abortion, they provide so much more help to Women in need that their abortion stance is a very minor issue.

  • rustacus21

    … women need to step up in this election like never before! It’s more than obvious that Conservatives are content keeping women subservient to the domineering tyranny of their kind, while tugging at the collective national heartstrings of women, to disfigure their political views w/oppressive personal views of dictatorial patriarchal ideology. In this last 4 years, women have suffered most of all demographics (aside from Black men) in the job market/recovery. Being victimized yet again, by bullies intent on controlling women’s minds AND bodies is the closest thing to slavery than, well, SLAVERY! It’s time America’s women voters step to the leadership role America has been waiting on YOU to assume. You’ve been holding down the home-front & working. Out of work, you’ve done everything humanly possible to hold our families together. It’s time NOW to redirect the the discourse & policy, toward a holistic, family & human-centered orientation, since we men have obviously failed to create & maintain an America resembling the Constitutional guarantees of Liberty, equality & opportunity, indiscriminately dispersed to ALL American’s, regardless of race, creed AND GENDER!!! Our nation – OBVIOUSLY – can no longer wait…

  • rustacus21

    … especially since commentary crucial to public debate is limited as it is! The “terms of use” policy needs to be addressed & adhered to, in order to reduce & eliminate instances of the above! Unless “nikeshoes” &/or “louishandbag” run this site, it is inappropriate to waste space on endorsements I – for 1 – among many (I’m sure) is (are) offended to have to wade thru, in order to partake in urgent dialogue… I don’t have cable (or satellite) TV for this xact reason. I don’t want to be subjected to unsolicited commercials of “stuff” I have no interest in buying in the 1st place!!!

  • rustacus21

    … I guess I can buy “advertising” space like “nikeshoes” & “louishandbag” too… If I ever need to “pimp” my business here as well…

  • rustacus21

    … we are commanded to order a separation of church & state. In this particular debate, the “church”, i.e., the religious right, are ‘commanding’ the nations course on the issue of contraceptives, among many other issues. The reason for the “separations” clause is simple: to stem the abuses of the European church & it’s destructive behavior & influence on on Europe & early America. This by no means, represents a “prohibition” on religion or the practice thereof. One must be “sophisticated” enuff, however, to reason thru the meaning & understand that what the Constitutions authors intended was that there be a STRONG Liberal/Progressive presence in government, reflecting their own Liberal/Progressive ambitions to formulate a Constitution that would provide Liberty, justice, equality & the freedom enuff to rationally “CHOOSE” what is best for each citizen of this nation. That includes Women. Black men. Students of legal age. Business persons. In advance of their contribution to a Democracy which is befitting of their blood & sweat sacrifice, which brought this nation into being. We need to be diligent in putting religion back in the pews, dislodging it from politics & rationally, intelligently conducting government, w/out getting, being or exploiting “hysteria” for political advantage…