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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 »

  1. […] Political, “Dumb And Deadly”: A Black Mark On The Pink Ribbon ( […]


    Pingback by Pink Ribbons and “Lying” Sample for week 3 « Business Government & Society III | February 11, 2012 | Reply

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