Strange bedfellows, The GOP & The Susan G. Komen Foundation

Feb 01, 2012 @ 8:34 am | By TheFeministGriote | 0 Comments

Extreme anti-abortionist groups as well as extreme members of the GOP who go by the name “tea partiers,” have declared war on the female anatomy. There number one goal is to undermine, vilify, and purport false information about Planned Parenthood.Planned Parenthood which is very transparent about the services it provides posts an annual report on their website. Only 3% of services provided at Planned Parenthood are abortions, but the extreme pro-lifers, will have you believing it’s an “abortion mill.” I’m not sure how many abortions you need to perform annually to be considered an “abortion mill,” but I’m almost certain 3% is not the magic number! The GOP has managed to hijack the American conversation that should be on job creation, preparing children for a global economy, and on bipartisanship so that things can actually get done politically. Instead they and their supporters have concentrated their efforts attempting to take the little bit of agency and access that poor and underinsured women have.

The latest victory that the anti-extremist can add to their list of dubious accomplishments, the GOP have bullied Susan G. Komen into no longer providing grant funds to Planned Parenthood. These funds allowed low-income women to be screened for breast cancer. In Planned Parenthood’s annual report 14.5% of Planned Parenthood services went to cancer screenings and prevention. The money they received from the Komen grants is estimated to be between $600k-$700k.

According to the American Cancer Society  226, 870 is the number  of new cases of invasive cancers in women in 2010 alone. This is a rather high number. Breast cancer is the most common cancer next to skin cancer, if we know this then why are we parceling out who should get preventive screenings or not? Up until yesterday, I never saw Susan G. Komen as a political organization. I thought they were merely in the business of “racing for a cure.” There mission statement states:

As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, we’re working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure®, and generous contributions from our partners, sponsors and fellow supporters, we have become the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. 

Last year, Susan G. Komen hired Karen Handel as VP of Public Policy. Who once ran as governor of Georgia as a staunch pro-lifer. Cancer is not a discriminatory disease, but Susan G. Komen has decided to side with right-wing terrorists, who want to discriminate against low-income women. We can argue from a brand and public relations perspective that  Susan G. Komen has committed social suicide, that goes without saying, but what is more detrimental is that this move may cost low-income women their lives.

The hate against women is real, but the hate against the poor woman’s anatomy is pungent! We can’t stand idly by and allow conspiracy theorists who assert that having an abortion increases your chances of breast cancer to narrate the conversation. News flash being a Black woman increases your chance of getting breast cancer. We need to focus on the facts. Abortions don’t make you infertile, depressed, or cause breast cancer. But who cares about facts right? Susan G. Komen no longer lives up to it’s mission statement and when an organization ceases to live up to it’s mission, it either time to restructure the organization, or it needs to close it’s doors.

I suggest The money you would’ve donated to Susan G. Komen divert those funds to Planned Parenthood’s Breast Health Emergency Fund.

We all know someone or know of someone who has been impacted by breast cancer in some way. There is no sure fire way to avoid cancer, but we all know that early detection is key. For Susan G. Komen to stop their grant funding to Planned Parenthood means they’ve picked a side. I guess standing up for all women is no longer “sexy,” but coloring the world pink every October is.

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