Yesterday I learned that the Susan G. Komen Foundation had just pulled all of its funding from Planned Parenthood due to pressure from pro-life groups. This does not come as a shock to me as this organization has chosen to flex its muscles politically in the past and is quickly losing sight of what is truly important- ending breast cancer and supporting those touched by it. I was, however, shocked and please at the immense outcry against this move. When the funding cut was announced Twitter and all the other big social media platforms froze and then were flooded with activity. And while pro-lifers may be doing a victory dance, the donations that have come crashing into Planned Parenthood may very well make up the difference.
Most people, when they think of Planned Parenthood, think solely about birth control and possibly abortions. I always thought of them as a place to go if you couldn’t afford a pregnancy test or a pap smear, a place that educated women and helped those who couldn’t afford conventional health care. Only through my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, did I learn that Planned Parenthood also offered mammograms for low income women, educated them about monthly self breast exams, and the importance of early detection.
So why on earth would the Komen Foundation stop funding for this important cause?? Well, the pro-life groups didn’t like it and raised a stink. The imposed their religious beliefs on the charity and pressured them to cut the ties. It was cowardly and NOT something that Susan G. Komen would have stood behind. Of course the foundation’s base is scrambling against the backlash, even putting out a short little video in defense of their actions on their Facebook Wall. But people aren’t fooled. As of today Planned Parenthood has received over $400,000 in private donations, including a $250,000 donation from a couple in Texas. About 26% believe that the Komen Foundation made the right move in cutting off funding but the majority are rallying behind Planned Parenthood, signing petitions, and showing support any way that they can. Many news reports have come out since the announcement, like this one, and I am sure in the coming days more will be written.
Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, when we start to politicize women’s health everyone loses. Again, we are trying to cure breast cancer through early detection and funding, not turn it into an arena of religious views. If you want to show your support please sign this petition, make your thoughts known, and shift your donations directly to Planned Parenthood. This letter was sent from a supporter and I love it’s message:
This is for all the anti-choice, anti-women people out there.
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.