Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Shame on you, Susan.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, arguably the nation's leading charity for breast cancer research and eradication, announced yesterday that is was yanking its funding for breast cancer screenings at all Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Read that again. Now let's break this down.
Taking away funding... for breast cancer screenings... for women who can't afford to go to anywhere else.
Are you disgusted? I am.
According to SGK, this move was in response to newly-adopted bylaws that forbid the funding of any organization under government investigation. Thanks to Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), congressman from the second worst state in the union (after Indiana), Planned Parenthood now falls into this category. This crusader against women's healthcare initiated a congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood's use of federal funding, an obvious play to his anti-choice supporters going into an election year.
[A word on federal funding for abortions: it hasn't happened since 1976. There's this thing called the Hyde Amendment, named after Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), which has been tacked on to every single appropriations bill for the past 34 years. It specifically doesn't allow for federal funds, i.e. Medicaid, to pay for abortions. So everyone needs to end it with this "federally funded abortions" bullshit.]
Now back to Susan G. Komen for the Cure hating poor women.
Oh yeah, I went there.
As an organization allegedly dedicated to funding research and treatment for breast cancer, they should probably change their mission statement: now they're "fighting every minute of every day to finish what we started and achieve our vision of a world without breast cancer... for rich people."
Because rich people don't go to Planned Parenthood; poor people do. With its 800 health centers around the country, in many cases a Planned Parenthood clinic is the only option some have, not only for reproductive and sexual health, but for primary care (think flu shots) and basic cancer screening. In the past five years, grants from SGK given to Planned Parenthood have paid for 170,000 clinical breast exams and 6,400 referrals for mammograms. (Note: those are screenings paid for exclusively by SGK; overall, Planned Parenthood conducted more than 700,000 screenings in the past year.) Those are some pretty good numbers. Now that funding is gone.
Granted, Planned Parenthood will make up the difference in funding. Women around the country are outraged, as they should be, and that outrage will manifest itself in donations to Planned Parenthood. But that's not the point.
The point here is that cancer screening for women in need is now a political issue. Breast cancer screening, which has less than nothing to do with abortions, is apparently something that poor women can live without. Susan G. Komen can now go to all of its corporate sponsors, who can then go to their consumers, and assure them they are not supporting an organization that, among other things, provides abortions.
Hooray! Poor women be damned! Let them eat cake -- and take out a loan to find out if they have cancer!
Ladies, this is only the latest in a series of outages against women's healthcare. Against abortion? Fine, don't have one. But your birth control pills should covered by your insurance, you should have an annual check-up with a gynecologist, and if you feel a scary lump, you should get yourself to a doctor and get that checked out without having to decide, "Well, I guess I won't buy groceries this week." This is our health, and we need individuals and organizations who will stand up to these anti-women crazies and demand decent healthcare.
So way to go, Susan G. Komen for the Cure: you gave into the pressure to cut women's healthcare and you probably lost a bunch of donors who expect better from you -- you've got at least one angry donor right here. I certainly can't in good faith continue to give to a charity that is so easily bought by right-wing nut jobs. And now I feel like a shit for yanking my own funds for cancer research.
Shame on you, Susan. We hoped for better.
Posted by Lavender and Cheese at 1:11 PM