Today, the inbox at MPS has been not exactly flooded, but has had some reaction to the snarky news item from last night. To recap, the pink-washing* enterprise known as the Susan G. Komen For The Cure has defunded and separated itself from Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood probably provides more breast cancer screenings than anyone, and certainly more to under-served communities who are much more likely to need their services. The so-called bad side of town almost always is where the environmental hazards that correlate highly with breast cancer also resides. Go figure that the rich part of town is rarely on top of a superfund cleanup site.
But I digress…
It seems that an anti-choice woman named Karen Handel–who is the failed candidate for 2010 Georgia governor’s mansion who ran on the promise to defund Planned Parenthood–is the Komen’s vice president for public policy. How this came about we can only speculate. Anyway, to make a not too fine a point, she is the person who made the decision to de-partner with Planned Parenthood, saying that Planned Parenthood no longer “best meets the needs of women [Komen] serve.” So funding breast exams with Planned Parenthood no longer meets their goals. Wait… what?!
It is rather amazing to watch an organization with a noble goal publicly commit ritual Seppuku. This strange moment also should be an object lesson for those squishy liberals who strive to find common ground with those who would destroy us (and then eat our livers with fava beans and a nice Chianti). There is no common ground, quit trying to find it.
The point here is that the fundamentalist forced-birth crowd are single-issue wingnuts. They would rather see a woman die of breast cancer than have her live to maybe need contraception or (gasp!) a Karen Santorum-style life-saving abortion. They cannot demand an abortion if they are already dead. Problem solved.
We’ve long been supporters of Planned Parenthood here at Tengrain’s Little Hut, and I’ve written about my Planned Parenthood story several times. We’ve never been a supporter of Komen’s, well, anything. We believe firmly that if you want to donate to any charity, knock yourself out. That said, we believe even more firmly in donating directly to that charity and not through umbrella organizations like Komen, Avon Walk, Ride for AIDS, and even the United Way. Give to your charity of choice directly, they will get more of the money without having anything skimmed of the top for Administration. Komen, for instance, skims about 25% off the top. That $10 bucks you raised was actually only $7.50.
(Full disclosure: my mother died of ovarian cancer. She lived for six weeks after being diagnosed. During that time she was bombarded with (Komen?) pink crap, and it only served to make her even more furious that she was being told to cheer up. She found Barbara Ehrenreich’s Welcome to Cancerland in the November 2001 Harper’s Bazar to be essential reading.)
PS – Scissorheads, encourage all the women in your lives have a breast examination. Just do it. It’s not a snarky joke, it can save a life especially if there is a lump found early. And gents, this can also happen to us, along with the prostate exam we need to be aware that we are not immune from breast cancer. Make an appointment today. Just do it.
*About Pink Washing: it is a term that is similar to green washing. It gives public relations cover to corporate donors. So let’s say Company X lets their employees raise funds via Komen and then Company X gets a press release out saying that they raised $X for The Cure. Except that they didn’t. The employees did. Company X almost never matches or donates. Check the shareholders meeting minutes, or the annual report.