Why does women’s health always end up being made into some political game by some conservatives?
The latest version of this sorry-ass behavior is that the Susan G. Komen Foundation has abruptly ceased their grants to Planned Parenthood and their affiliates, more than $600,000 last year alone, which Planned Parenthood utilized to screen women for breast cancer.
The Komen Foundation claims it’s because of a new board policy which prevents them from granting money to any organization under investigation by local, state, or federal authorities. Planned Parenthood has been the subject of a Congressional inquiry.
But here’s how things really work: any moron in Congress, especially if that moron is a member of the majority party, can open up an investigation into any entity that moron wants. And often, any moron does. In the case of Planned Parenthood, a moron did. The investigation is nothing more than a witch hunt orchestrated by Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns of Florida, who is using this “investigation” as a means to discredit Planned Parenthood at any cost. This isn’t because there is anything wrong with Planned Parenthood, it’s because there’s something wrong with Cliff Stearns.
No, it’s obvious that Komen’s excuse is just that – an excuse. One probably dreamed up by way of massive rationalization for a decision made due to pressure brought by anti-choice funders or activists determined to hate Planned Parenthood no matter how many lives Planned Parenthood saves.
I have several reactions.
First, to Members of Congress who agree that Planned Parenthood is crucial to women’s health – Congressmen and women who know that one out of five women in America have utilized their services for the full array of health care they provide – including breast exams – I challenge you to immediately open an investigation of the Komen Foundation. Not that I think for a second they’ve done anything illegal, but nobody expects that Planned Parenthood has either, right? Rather, it’s to force Komen to reverse their ill-conceived policy. After all, if Komen itself is under “investigation,” then under their shiny new policy, Komen can’t fund Komen, now can they?
Second, to the the anti-choice zealots who would use women as political pawns, with health and lives in the balance: how dare you. Breast cancer is a disease both my grandmothers were afflicted with. Breast cancer is the disease my mother suffered with for years, and ultimately died of. Breast cancer claimed the life of one of my best friends. How dare you use the health and lives of women to further your extremist agenda? How dare you treat the women who utilize the services of Planned Parenthood as if they are something less than yourselves, because of the values you would impose upon others?
Zealots, you may not like that thousands of women depend on Planned Parenthood’s full array of health care services as their primary health care. But like it or not, it’s where they’re going, and where they will continue to go, at least until after you reverse your longstanding opposition to other affordable health care options for these women. And thanks to your pressure, Komen will apparently no longer help in this effort.
And to the people at the Komen foundation: you certainly know better. If it is true that you bowed to anti-choice pressure, don’t be cowardly about it – admit it. Admit that you couldn’t fade the heat, and admit that as a result, women could go undiagnosed, and untreated.
And finally, people of Komen, if it is true that you made your decision based on financial considerations – either because a funder threatened to withhold money if you continued your Planned Parenthood grants, or because a funder promised to increase contributions absent those grants, to paraphrase a quote attributed to Winston Churchill: we have already established what you are. Now we are just haggling about the price.