Erase (to) The Cure

Much is being posted about the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s announcement that they will stop giving money to Planned Parenthood. In fact, both my Facebook and Twitter feeds have exploded in support for Planned Parenthood and range from shock, anger, and disgust towards the Komen Foundation.

I joined in the disbelief and outrage, and made my way to the Komen Foundation’s Facebook wall to share my thoughts. Big mistake.

While I saw a handful of folks expressing their anger and disappointment, I saw many more posts of congratulations and thanks from people happy that the Komen Foundation is pulling funding from Planned Parenthood.

What?! Are they really unaware of what this means?

So…now it’s time for a break down:

-According to Planned Parenthood, the Komen Foundation gave $680,000 in grants last year and $580,000 the year before.

-The money from the Komen Foundation went to nineteen Planned Parenthood programs that treat low-income women, many of whom are located in rural and underserved communities. The grants provided women with breast health education, screenings, and referrals for mammograms — lifesaving care for women where Planned Parenthood is their only source of health care. 

-The “official” reasoning that the Komen Foundation has given for their actions is because Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation by Congress, which violates their (brand new) rule that bars them from contributing to organizations that are under investigation at the local, state, or federal level.

-However, the more probable reasons that they’ve pulled funding have to do with bowing to Anti-Choice pressure from wealthy conservatives.

-The Komen Foundation already has a shaky non-profit history, being accused of “pink-washing,using raised funds in questionable ways, and have turned people off by seemingly losing their original focus on researching a cure.

It looks more and more like the Susan G. Komen Foundation has made a decision that better suits their organization and not their cause. They have made a choice that might curry them favor from conservatives and anti-choice folk in the short term, but I have a feeling that this will only serve in harming them as an organization in the long run. While they might feel like they’re making a stand in pulling much needed grant money from Planned Parenthood, in reality, they’re making it harder for low-income women in remote locations to access screenings and information for breast health care.

Their decision is cowardly, upsetting, and frankly appalling.

So what can you do?

If you’re just as angry as I am, there are a few ways to help.

-You can always make a donation to Planned Parenthood. No amount is too little. A wealthy donor in Texas has already offered to donate $250,000 in response to the Komen Foundation’s decision, but PP is still struggling to make up the rest.

-You can contact the Susan G. Komen foundation and let them know why you’re disappointed in their decision.
-Sign this petition telling the board of the Foundation not to throw Planned Parenthood under the bus.
Get angry and then get motivated. While others might be working their hardest to shut down access to low-cost healthcare for women, we need to work twice as hard to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Let's take the Komen Foundation's message to heart here.

12 thoughts on “Erase (to) The Cure

  1. I think we were all compelled to write about this last night and today. Thanks for giving such great concrete direction. It does no good to just sit and be angry. We can fix this…we can fix this without Komen.

    • Exactly. I’ve been reading a lot of posts with anger towards Komen, and it’s rightly deserved right now, but at this point, I’m not really interested in the “why” and more concerned about the “what now” as it can potentially mean cutting off access to low-cost breast health care for many women. I think we can all agree that their official reasoning is BS, that there’s multiple layers of why they pulled funding, but it’s more about how can we fix this. And I think we can.

      And…if this brings light to how some non-profits are run and where their money goes – even better!

  2. Agreed that we should focus less on the “GRRR WHY” part and put more energy toward the “okay, how can we help?” If everyone who is so outraged at Komen would throw $10 at PP, it would go a long way toward making up the funding shortfall AND be a great way to tell the Komen Foundation to suck it.
    I stopped donating to them YEARS ago because… they have so much cash and visibility, yet they are so shady and terrible below the shiny pink veneer. It’s disappointing.
    If Planned Parenthood offered screenings for prostate cancer and other dude diseases, do you think this would be happening? If PP were a man-focused healthcare provider, they’d be so well-funded, you’d be able to fly to the moon if it would cure your testicular cancer. Ugh. I’m disgusted.

  3. I think you pointed out something really important that is often overlooked. The women impacted will mainly be lower-income and in areas underserved by ALL women’s health facilities. The women PP serves are usually younger than the mammogram age, so that’s a moot point that’s floating around. As if manual screening is useless.

    A silver lining may be that this action motivates activism that may have been napping under a security blanket for too long.

  4. I recently subscribed to your blog and am so glad I did. I love your collission of motherhood and feminism, and am slowly (but surely) coming up on the same principles. I was raised by very religious, faith-based, conservative parents (my father and brother are pastors), and have been fighting for the past 10+ years to form my own identity, be proud of my own mind, and to be excited to have the wherewithal to question what I believe and why. So, thank you for reiterating that it’s okay to be a mommy AND give a damn about equal rights.

    I said all of that to say, I couldn’t agree more with your stance on the Susan G. Komen Foundation (Race for the Republican-Approved Cure), and the ridiculous choices they’re making in the name of the fight. Cancer knows no personal interests or political views. It’s time to, once again, stop intertwining politics and doing the right, good, humane thing. Because honestly? One doesn’t have a single thing to do with the other. I hope that people take a stand against this organization. My say may be small, but my check will be going directly to Planned Parenthood. I hope others will rally up to do that same.

    • You’re welcome! And thank you for your kind words about my site.

      I whole heartedly agree with what you said in your 2nd paragraph – sadly, I think too many people can’t separate what they feel are moral issues with their own politics, and that’s when we get folks trying to pass laws around the concept of “personhood,” abortion laws, and other grievances against reproductive rights (even if that stands in the way of providing access to low-cost health care). It’a appalling 😦 Good for you for making your voice heard by donating to PP – no matter how much, I honestly believe that every bit counts.

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