I’ve worn the pink ribbons. I’ve supported friends on the walks. I’ve made straight-up monetary donations. No more. Done. Sorry, Susan G. Komen Foundation, you’ve just lost an ardent supporter. And it’s too bad, because the organization has done some very good things, and dear friends—cancer survivors, all—have benefited from its good works. But from now on, my donation money will go to Planned Parenthood.
The Komen Foundation has made a huge error in judgment this week by pulling its financial support from Planned Parenthood. The foundation has given $700,000 annually to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening, mammograms and counseling to poor women.
The decision is clearly one influenced by the increased pressure on the Komen Foundation by voices on the religious Right, which oppose contraception and abortion services provided by the organization. The outcry on the Internet, from blogs, to Facebook Petitions, to Twitter appeals was instantaneous and vocal.
Komen leaders have tried to explain away the decision as non-political, but with very little success. Trying to rationalize the decision because the organization cannot fund groups “under investigation,” is specious at best. A lame excuse. Yes, Planned Parenthood is “under investigation.” But only because there are some uninformed, possibly misogynistic, ideologues in Congress who want to see Planned Parenthood gone—dead and buried.
Well, this cannot turn out well for the Race for the Cure people, whose “pink” campaign has tapped into the public consciousness over the years, from pink jewelry to pink yogurt containers. Even New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged to help Planned Parenthood recoup the loss of much-needed funds. This was just bad, politically motivated policy. Full Stop.
I feel bad that I will have to say “no” when one of my friends or colleagues asks me to sponsor her in this year’s local Komen event. I never did like pink, anyway.
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