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Right Wing Will Stop At Nothing To Get Its Way

In a perfect world, advocates for women’s health who believe human life begins at the instant of fertilization, and advocates of women’s health who believe in a women’s right to choose, ought to be able to find common ground in their shared mission of finding a cure for cancer.

Liberals were at least willing to give it try. Out of respect for the ethical misgivings of religious conservatives, liberals agreed all funds raised for cancer research and screenings ought to be carefully segregated from the financial support given for abortion services so that no one morally opposed to abortion would feel compelled to lend support to the procedure, however indirectly.

But conservatives were having none of it. In their mind abortion is a sin and a crime and that was that. Any organization connected with the procedure was irredeemably unclean. This was true even if the organization in question performed many other life-saving works and if abortion constituted just 3% of the overall health services the organization provided.

And so, the life-giving alliance between two of the nation’s most prominent organizations in the fight against breast cancer – Planned Parenthood and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation — may forever be ruined after Komen leaders temporarily pulled funding for Planned Parenthood in deference to the demands of anti-abortion contributors who have long targeted Planned Parenthood for extinction.

The estrangement of these two long-time allies could very well set back the cause of finding a cure for breast cancer, a disease that killed an estimated 39,500 women in 2011 with more than 230,000 new cases reported.  But fighting breast cancer seems less important in the minds of anti-abortion militants than destroying an organization they detest as evil.

Even within the Komen organization itself the decision by Komen’s brass to sever all ties with Planned Parenthood seemed to come out of nowhere. That may help explain the angry letters written by those at Komen’s local affiliates who announced they would defy their bosses and continue doing business with Planned Parenthood no matter what the organization’s new policy may have been.

Nonetheless, conservatives were quick to blame liberals for the rift, saying liberals should have been more sensitive to the concerns of abortion opponents in the first place by recognizing that associating in any way with any organization that provides abortions was, for the religiously devout, utterly impossible.

In a column harshly critical of the media’s portrayal of Komen’s leadership as betraying the health needs of women, New York Times conservative Ross Douthat said the decision by Komen to disassociate itself “from the nation’s largest abortion provider” was no more “political” than was the decision by liberals to enlist Planned Parenthood in the fight against cancer in the first place.

For every American who greeted Komen’s decision with outrage and derision, says Douthat, “there was probably an American who was relieved and gratified” by the funding cut for Planned Parenthood, since there are “millions of Americans, including millions of American women” who loath the organization for the 300,000-plus abortions it performs every year and for its “tireless opposition to even modest limits on abortion.”

Maybe. But after conceding that the fight against breast cancer should be “unifying and completely uncontroversial,” Douthat then attacked the media for suggesting the fight against breast cancer should take priority over the objections of abortion opponents, as well as for what he called the “wave of frankly brutal coverage” against anyone seen as sabotaging the fight against cancer with their ideologically-motivated objections.

That the fight to save lives could actually be undermined by those who advertise themselves as “pro-life” is further proof that the most important contribution the Founding Fathers made to democratic thought was to separate religious commitments from  governing ones.

The whole point of politics, writes professor Theodore Lowi, is in fact to “trivialize all manner of beliefs drawn from private life” – including religious belief — so as to put them into a form where they can dealt with politically, meaning where compromise is possible.

That is because when private beliefs are pursued without full appreciation of their public consequences, “Act I of the tragedy of the true believer has begun,” he says.

The price we pay for living in a diverse and modern world is that there can be few, if any, non-negotiable demands. The price we pay for securing “domestic tranquility,” in other words, is that we must be governed by politics and not by rote application of rigid religious dogmas or political ideologies where life’s complexities are resolved by reference to 10 easily memorized talking points – or commandments.

Predictably, those who oppose Planned Parenthood and the good-faith compromises that have been made to keep the focus on breast cancer prevention have framed their dispute as an extension of their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of “worship.”

It’s a trump “People of Faith” have been playing a lot.

Just this Sunday, the letter from our own Cardinal that was distributed at Mass began peacefully enough with a greeting to all his “dear brothers and sisters in Christ.” But then, sparing no words, the Cardinal took out after President Obama like Thomas Jefferson against George III as our Cardinal inveighed against a decision by the President on birth control the Cardinal said “strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty of all citizens of any faith.”

I’ll make a deal with the Cardinal: He can have his waiver from the government’s new requirement to provide birth control if the Church puts its objections up for a vote with its employees. Since we’re talking religious liberty here, let’s see if Catholic workers think their religious freedoms are being imperiled by having access to health insurance that pays for birth control.

If workers vote to deny themselves coverage for contraception because their religious convictions forbid it, then I for one agree we should honor that. I’d also be willing to grant the Church a waiver if it agrees to first divest itself of all those benefits it gets from the government and from We the People. But otherwise, the Church must pay to play.

Let’s keep things in perspective here. The Catholic Church maintains schools, hospitals and charitable organizations to fulfill its mission of service to the community. But it also supports these institutions in order to enhance its political power and its ability to use those institutions to shape American culture generally.

It’s in disputes just like these that the Church’s true political nature is revealed to us as the Church flexes its political muscle and  shows just how elastic its definitions of “religious worship” really are.

We’re not talking about penitents singing psalms in their pews. In the present dispute, to “worship” means to advance the Church’s anti-contraception agenda by denying contraception coverage to even those non-Catholics who work for the Church, using the premiums it pays as leverage to re-frame the nature of its disagreement with President Obama as one over “religious freedom.”

In the debate over “Obamacare,” “worship” meant pressing for further restrictions on abortion by using as leverage the fact that taxpayer dollars were being used to subsidize the coverage of 50 million uninsured Americans.

But the Church hardly needs provocation or pretexts like these to advance a political agenda or to hide that agenda behind the First Amendment and glittering generalities about religious liberty.

For the Catholic hierarchy, freedom of worship means the right to prevail politically and on any matter Church leaders decide is important.

I remember very well working for Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci when then Boston Cardinal Bernard Law made a special trip to the State House to fight us on the Governor’s nomination of Margaret Marshall to be the first woman chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The Cardinal opposed Justice Marshall because she had ruled in favor of abortion rights in the past. And despite the Cardinal’s objection, she was confirmed anyway.

Law, who was later forced to step down in disgrace over his shocking mishandling of the Church’s child abuse scandal in Boston, continued a long tradition of politically promiscuous Bay State Catholic leaders dating back to Cardinal William O’Connell, who towered over Boston politics from 1908 to 1944.

“Authoritarian in temper, medieval in outlook, Cardinal O’Connell sought to remake Boston’s Catholics as soldiers of a modern day Counter Reformation,” wrote Jack Beatty, senior editor of the Boston-based Atlantic Monthly.

Among O’Connell’s political dark horrors, Massachusetts killed a proposed amendment banning child labor that the Cardinal called “socialistic” because it put “the State above the Parents” – presumably preventing those parents from hiring out their children as indentured servants if they so wished.

Along with the rest of the Catholic hierarchy, O’Connell also fought liberalization efforts to legalize the sale and distribution of contraceptives – even for non-Catholics – fueling a controversy that wasn’t resolved until the Supreme Court finally ruled anti-contraceptive laws unconstitutional in 1965.

And, until the 1960’s when these laws were finally repealed, women who taught in the Massachusetts public schools were compelled to resign once they became pregnant because of the Church’s objections to women with small children who worked.

Across the board in American politics today — and not only in matters of religion – right wing interests have been undermining America’s democratic institutions and conventions by insisting we bow down to their demands that they get to re-shape America entirely to their liking.

Politically, we’ve seen this manifested in the institutionalization in the US Senate of minority rule by mostly Southern reactionaries.

Culturally, we’ve seen it in the resurgence of talk about state’s rights for  sub-groups, like white conservative Christians, who are dominant at the local level and hope to resist national standards on such things as gender, racial and religious equality.

Even in economics, demands by Republicans that public policy be geared almost exclusively toward assuaging investor “uncertainty” can be seen as a massive redistribution of political sovereignty away from the public and toward the rich who ultimately gain whenever the public interest is subordinated to the arbitrary and subjective whims of the “job creating” investor class.

The larger danger we are talking about here goes by an old-fashioned name that the Founding Fathers used a lot: “Faction.”

The friend of democratic government never finds himself so alarmed for their character and fate “as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice,” writes James Madison in his famous Federalist 10.

And it’s the “instability, injustice and confusion” of factions like a Catholic Church that equates politics with Constitutionally-protected “worship,” or the financial backers who pressured the Komen foundation to compromise its own life-saving mission to advance an extreme pro-life agenda, that Madison said has always been “the mortal disease under which popular governments have everywhere perished.”

Like the leaders of most faction, the Catholic bishops say they are not running a democracy here.  And they are right. But the bigger question is whether they will let us have one at all.

 

By: Ted Frier, OpenSalon, February 7, 2012

February 8, 2012 Posted by | Women's Health, Womens Rights | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Good Girls” Vs “Bad Girls”: The Real Losers In The Susan G. Komen-Planned Parenthood Dispute

At first, it appeared that Planned Parenthood was the  loser in the dispute over funding breast cancer exams. Then, it appeared that  Planned Parenthood was the winner, receiving huge donations from supporters  furious over the fact that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation had cut  off funding for Planned Parenthood amid concerns that the latter was “under  investigation” for allegedly funneling federal monies to pay for abortions.

But there may be no real winner here. And the loser may  be women’s health.

On paper, the controversy has waned, largely due to a  speedy reaction  from backers of Planned Parenthood, which indeed provides  abortions  services but which also—and primarily—offers affordable healthcare for  women. The Susan G. Komen foundation, which had been giving grants to   Planned Parenthood, announced last week it would halt such grants  because the  women’s healthcare provider was “under investigation” by  Congress for misuse  of funds. The merits of that justification are  overwhelmed by the naivete of  it; any crank in Congress can start an  investigation into anything.  Congressional oversight has become  increasingly partisan and agenda-driven in  recent years (with a few  notable exceptions, including GOP Sen. Charles  Grassley, who has  conducted aggressive inquiries on important but non-attention  getting  matters regardless of which party has controlled the White House). But   for the most part, using the status of “under investigation” as a  barometer  of anything is laughable.

Then, the Susan G. Komen foundation (whose senior vice  president for  public policy, Karen Handel, is anti-abortion) changed its story,   saying it cut off funds because Planned Parenthood does not perform the  breast  exams itself, but merely refers women to places where the  procedures are done.  A lot of Planned Parenthood supporters didn’t buy  that flip flop, and  threatened to sever ties with the Komen group while  increasing donations to  Planned Parenthood. The Susan G. Komen  foundation then reversed its decision  entirely, announcing Friday it  would not ban Planned Parenthood from funding.

That sounds as though the fight is over (and that  both groups  might benefit from the increased attention). But disturbingly, a  wedge  campaign against women has been started, and is not likely to subside.

The undercurrent of the face-off was that there are two  kinds of  women—good girls, who have breasts that may become infected with   cancer, and bad girls, who have sex. The women who have breasts are  allowed to  be worried about getting a deadly disease, and so are  festooned with pink  ribbons and given both cash for research and  sympathy if they become ill. Women  with cancer get to be treated as  victims in need of financial and emotional  support. The bad women who  have sex are treated as though they are getting what  they deserve if  they become pregnant or get a sexually transmitted disease.

The bad women, the ones who have sex, are apparently  meant to be  punished. They can acquire birth control only in shame. And while   abortion is still legal, the bad women who have sex must be forced to go   through with unwanted pregnancies or endure a great deal of trouble  and expense  to get an abortion. The insult to women—that if females  were forced to think  about what they are doing before having an  abortion, the exercise would  surely make them change their minds—is  overwhelming. Women who believe  abortion is wrong won’t have one.  Making it harder for them to get an abortion  won’t make a difference.  Women—devout Catholics and others—who don’t  believe in birth control  won’t use it. Refusing to cover birth control as basic  women’s health,  or defunding organizations that supply birth control, won’t  mean  anything to those women.

But for those women who have sex and want to do so   responsibly—avoiding unwanted pregnancy and staying STD-free—birth  control  and sexual healthcare is critical. Planned Parenthood has been a  go-to place  for such healthcare for many women, particularly young  females with low  incomes and zero or inadequate health insurance.

The battle between Planned Parenthood and the Susan G.  Komen for the  Cure foundation may be technically over. But the effort to divide  women  over basic healthcare is in full force.

 

By: Susan Milligan, U. S. News and World Report, February 6, 2012

February 7, 2012 Posted by | Women's Health, Womens Rights | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cancer Komen Must Cure Is Right Wing Extremism

When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 and took possession of a troubled land that was more geographic expression than country (as  Metternich once said of Italy), I remember thinking at the time that we were far less likely to export democracy to Iraqis than Iraqis were to teach us a lesson about how fragile are the cultural foundations upon which democracy rests.

American society has been fracturing for some time. This is due to many factors: growing anxiety over jobs in a global economy; changing  demographics as the nation becomes less white and Christian; the rise of identity politics, specifically more politically aggressive religious groups; and communications technologies that allow individuals to self-segregate  by ideology with dual citizenship to places like Fox “Nation” or Hannity’s “America.”

What may have once been an academic curiosity has now metastasized into a genuine concern: Intensifying political polarization  is threatening the ability of our community to hold together as both our politics and our government become increasingly dysfunctional.

To better understand one’s country and its own internal dynamics it is often advantageous to step away and see what lessons might be learned by studying the experience of other countries.

And for America this is especially true of the Middle East, where the more intimately America becomes entangled with that troubled region the more our own domestic politics absorb through osmosis the Middle East’s distinctive tribal pathologies and torments as well.

Christian fundamentalists, for example, are not merely obsessed with Israel because daydreaming about the Jewish State’s eventual  destruction by the armies of the Anti-Christ at the Battle of Armageddon  lets them act out their rapture fantasies from the Book of Revelation. The Religious Right also draws inspiration from Israel for what the Right might be able to accomplish here as they watch ultra-Orthodox groups transform Israel’s democracy into a Jewish theocracy.

In an article titled “The Troubling Rise of Israel’s Far Right,” New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier cites reports in the New York Times showing that the list of controversies – and confrontations — between secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews is growing weekly.

Organizers of a conference on women’s health, for example, barred women from speaking from the podium.

Ultra-Orthodox men spit on an eight-year-old girl “whom they deemed immodestly dressed.”

The chief rabbi of the Israeli Air Force resigned because the  army would not excuse ultra-Orthodox soldiers from attending events  where female singers perform.

Jerusalem’s police commander was depicted as Hitler on posters because he allowed public buses with mixed-sex seating to drive through  ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in violation of that sect’s religious  dogmas — an intolerance the American Catholic bishops might want to think about as they use words like “totalitarian” to describe their dispute with President Obama over coverage for  contraception in health care plans.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews even went so far as to prohibit a distinguished woman scholar whose book on pediatrics was being honored  by Israel’s Ministry of Health from sitting with her husband at the ceremony or accepting her prize in person since  women were forbidden from stepping on stage.

The New York Times article, said Wieseltier “provoked widespread revulsion” in the US, as it ought.

The origin of the problem, both there and here, is the infusion of fundamentalism into politics.

Fundamentalism is less religious than psychological — an aspect of personality that abhors ambiguity and demands certainty, and thus authority, in every aspect of their lives, whether political or religious. Fundamentalism is fundamentally incompatible with liberalism and with the emphasis in liberal societies on the autonomy of the individual and individual free will.

“Like all liberal societies, says Wieseltier, “Israeli society  contains anti-liberal elements, and these anti-liberal elements, both  religious and secular, have become increasingly prominent, and  increasingly wanton, and increasingly sickening.”

Of chief concern is the treatment of women in Israeli society.

The “odious misogyny of the ultra-Orthodox” is not yet typical of Israeli life in general since the ultra-Orthodox have seceded from it, says Wieseltier. But gender discrimination is typical of traditional  Judaism where “there is no equality between men and women in theory and  in practice.”

Whatever freedom women enjoy in Jewish religious life, he says, “has been accomplished by movements and institutions that have broken with the inherited understandings.”

There are many rabbis, even among the more orthodox, “who have  shown glimmers of compassion for women and tried to mitigate their  doctrinal contempt for secular Jews,” says Wieseltier.

But more typical  is the rabbi who said that: “Only one who believes in the God of Israel  and in the Torah of Israel is entitled to be called by the name ‘Jew.'”

Using that standard, said Wieseltier, one of the more extreme Jewish sects declared that the total Jewish population in the world amounts to only about one million.

“Our worst enemies never eliminated so many of us,” said Wieseltier.

As the radicalization of Israeli Judaism continues apace,  Wieseltier said the bigger problem is that “Israeli politics is open to  these closers.” That is especially true given the outsized influence  Israel’s parliamentary democracy gives to small parties.

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is disgusted by the tightening grip of orthodoxy in his country he doesn’t seem to be doing  much to stop it, says Wieseltier. “Nobody ever suffered political damage by pandering to obscurantism and folk religion,” he says. “And that is  how gender segregation came to some of the public sphere of a secular  state.”

All these developments are unique in their own way, “but the pattern is hard not to see,” says Wieseltier. “There are fevers on the  right, anti-democratic fevers. These are the excrescences of Benjamin  Netanyahu’s base. The outrage is not that these forces have gone too far, but that they have gone anywhere at all.”

The pattern is also hard not to see here in America.

An Israeli-style, orthodox-fueled fracturing  of the American community took place just last week in the  otherwise inexplicable schism that at least temporarily existed between Planned Parenthood  and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

That two organizations so committed to the same vital mission of fighting for  women’s health would be at bitter loggerheads is a stunning  reminder of the destructive nature of fundamentalist mindsets that let nothing stand in their way of achieving their ideological obsessions.

“We’re talking about breast cancer here!” said one exasperated  women’s health advocate when she first heard the news that Komen was pulling funding from Planned Parenthood.

As Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg reports, in the first 24  hours after Komen announced its decision to pull $700,000 in funding,  Planned Parenthood raised about $400,000 from outraged supporters  online. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg chipped in $250,000 and the Amy  and Lee Fikes Foundation also donated another $250,000.

Within the Komen organization itself, the Connecticut affiliate publicly rebuked the parent agency over the new policy, says Goldberg,  writing on its Facebook wall: “Susan G. Komen for the Cure Connecticut  enjoys a great partnership with Planned Parenthood, and is currently funding Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. We understand, and share, in the frustration around this situation.”

The Denver Komen affiliate said it too planned to continue grants to Planned Parenthood no matter what the organization’s top executives  might have to say about it.

And so it begins: the unraveling, fracturing and eventual disintegration of any organization, institution or communitiy invaded by the cancer of  right wing fundamentalism which fails to find a cure.

 

By: Ted Frier, Open Salon, February 5, 2012

February 6, 2012 Posted by | Religion, Right Wing | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Angry At Komen? You Should Be Furious At Mitt Romney And The GOP

My email inbox has been flooded over the last three days with messages of outrage over Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s surprise metamorphosis into a purveyor of right-wing culture wars – a change that the organization is now frantically trying to undo. Americans have been shaken by the news of a formerly respected and loved organization with a trusted brand turning on many of the low-income women who it had previously taken pride in serving.

I too am angry at Komen’s decision to put right-wing ideology ahead of its purported public health mission. But our deeper anger should be directed at someone else: the Republicans in Congress and GOP leaders who consistently make the same choices involving many times more money, and many times more women’s lives. The shock of the revelation of Komen’s new policies only highlighted how numb many of us have become to the larger, unrelenting attacks on women’s health by right-wing elected officials.

The grants to Planned Parenthood that Komen would have severed totaled $680,000 over the last year – a total that the organization thankfully made up in two days from contributions that have poured in in response to the Komen betrayal. Let’s put that in perspective. Last year, the House GOP voted to zero out the entire  $317,000,000 Title X family planning budget – including about $75 million that would have gone to Planned Parenthood’s preventative care and treatment programs for low-income women.

Deciding that this plan wasn’t disastrous enough, the House also passed an amendment to eliminate all federal funding to Planned Parenthood, an estimated total of $363 million, much of which goes to care for the Medicaid patients who make up almost half of Planned Parenthood’s clientele. The amount that Komen would have cut from Planned Parenthood’s women’s healthcare was significant– but the amount that House Republicans were prepared to cut was 500 times larger.

The right wing understands this. Anti-choice groups have rejoiced over the Komen decision, seeing it as a stepping stone to what has always been their ultimate goal: eliminating women’s reproductive rights and destroying Planned Parenthood along the way.

Those who value comprehensive women’s health care need to make the same connection. What Komen did was wrong. What the Republican Party tries to do every chance it gets is hundreds of times worse.

I doubt that Mitt Romney will dare to take a stand on the Komen controversy. But it doesn’t matter. We know where he is on this issue — and not just because we know how he feels about poor people. Last year, Romney supported the amendment that would have eliminated 500 times as much money from Planned Parenthood’s health care services, cutting off a million and half of its most needy patients. So did Newt Gingrich. So did every other major GOP presidential candidate. So did all but seven House Republicans.

The Komen decision was shocking to so many because, in part, we expect more integrity from a nonpartisan women’s health organization than we do from our politicians.

But the stakes from our politicians are bigger. Planned Parenthood provides critical services to millions of American women each year. In 2010, it provided nearly 750,000 breast exams and 770,000 Pap tests to women seeking critical cancer screening. It provided more than four million tests and treatments for STIs. It provided affordable contraception to low-income women, preventing an estimated 584,00 unintended pregnancies. Planned Parenthood estimates that one in five American women has received care from the organization in her lifetime.

Without Komen’s funding, Planned Parenthood would have rallied. Without federal funding, nearly half of its 3 million patients – including many from disadvantaged neighborhoods and rural areas –  would lose their care.

Yes, we should be angry at Komen for the Cure. But, like the Right, we need to recognize that this is ultimately a symbolic fight in a much bigger battle.

Today, Komen gave in to the overwhelming response it received from Americans who value women’s health over partisan politics. Our elected officials should face just as much pressure. Take the email you sent to Komen and copy Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. They need to hear the same message, and face the same backlash, five hundred times over.

 

By: Michael B. Keegan, President-People for the American Way, Published in The Huffington Post, February 3, 2012

February 3, 2012 Posted by | Women's Health | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Political, “Dumb And Deadly”: A Black Mark On The Pink Ribbon

Hard as I try, I can only conjure up two words to describe the decision on the part of Susan G. Komen For The Cure to pull its support of Planned Parenthood.

Dumb and…Deadly.

For years, Komen and Planned Parenthood have worked together to improve the opportunities for women to discover and get treatment for one of the most insidious of diseases—women’s breast cancer. And they’ve made a great pair. Together, these organizations have done an enormous amount of good when it comes to bringing the illness to the public’s attention and providing the services that have, undoubtedly, saved a great many lives.

Today, this partnership has been torn apart and, contrary to what one might have anticipated just twenty-four hours ago, it is not Planned Parenthood who finds itself struggling to make up the lost funding. The organization has benefitted from a massive inpouring of contributions since the news broke.

Rather, a review of the Susan G.Komen Facebook page makes it all too clear that their own organization is likely in line for a very bad year on the fundraising front given the large number of people who are deeply offended and distressed by the decision and have sworn to cut off their contributions to the group.

While it is tempting to say that the ‘good guy’ in this sad tale has emerged victorious, nothing could be further from the truth.

You see, the big loser in this story will be future breast cancer victims who may not get the diagnostic services or treatment required to save their lives as a result of what is sure to be a drop in funding for the Komen effort.

That is a true tragedy and one that certainly never had to be.

Despite the severe backlash being heaped on Komen For The Cure by one-time supporters, the organization continues to argue that there was nothing political about its decision. But nobody is buying this because it’s simply too hard to swallow.

Komen is sticking to the story that they had no choice but to pull the funding once Republican Congressman Cliff Sterns, a long-time opponent of Planned Parenthood, began a Congressional investigation to determine if Planned Parenthood has violated the rules that prohibit them from spending taxpayer money on abortion services. The Komen group argues that their governing principles do not permit them to contribute money to any entity under Congressional investigation.

But stupid is as stupid does. And, as noted, Komen For The Cure has behaved with shocking stupidity.

If Komen believes that Planned Parenthood provides a valuable service to the women Komen seeks to help and believed that PP did so before the investigation commenced last fall, why in the world would they permit such a congressional investigation—and one that has no time limit and could drag on until Democrats return to power and take over the investigating committee—to interfere with something as important as helping women with breast cancer? At no time has Komen suggested that Planned Parenthood was failing to use the money provided by Komen for the intended purpose. Had this been their position, their decision would have made a great deal more sense.

Are Komen’s rules of operating more important than the very purpose of their existence? If they believed that Planned Parenthood played an important role in helping women with breast cancer before, why would they do anything to interfere with that work, let alone use an investigation into whether or not PP is misusing taxpayer money for abortions – not breast cancer services—as a reason to withdraw their aid?

What if Rep. Sterns’ investigation does turn up some instances of Planned Parenthood breaking the rules? Does this mean that the work they do in support of women with breast cancer no longer ‘counts’? Are women who are in danger of losing their lives suddenly not deserving of help because some others may have received an abortion with some taxpayer money?

Anyway you look at it, this is an illogical and remarkably (here’s that word again) stupid decision.

I understand that there are many people who vehemently oppose abortion and that this would lead them to have a big problem with Planned Parenthood for providing the same.

But these people claim that they are ‘right to lifers’, devout in their desire to protect life.  This, once again, causes us to wonder why these folks would take so strong a position when it comes to the lives of the unborn yet are unwilling to take such a position on behalf of a woman who has walked on the planet for a few years already. I simply don’t understand why right to life organizations everywhere are not imploring Susan Komen For The Cure to reinstate the funding to Planned Parenthood so that lives of affected women can be saved – just as they want to save the lives of the unborn.

While Rep. Sterns has taken the time to deny any involvement with Komen’s decision, and I take him at his word, why has he not acknowledged that, while he may be seriously opposed to abortion services, he can still support the work of Planned Parenthood—and Komen’s contribution to that work—when it comes to helping women facing a deadly disease? It is, after all, saving lives that Congressman Sterns proclaims himself to be all about.

Shame on the Susan G. Komen For The Cure for forgetting their mission and the reason so many people have financially supported their efforts and walked so many miles in support. Shame on Congressman Sterns along with any other opponent of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in abortion who cannot see the sheer hypocrisy of hating PP for taking lives while remaining unwilling to stand up for the services of PP that save lives.

I can’t think of a better example of how far afield we have gone when a charity devoted to fighting cancer allows politics to become its guiding force.

 

By: Rick Ungar, Contributing Writer, Forbes, February 1, 2012

February 3, 2012 Posted by | Women's Health | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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