Editorial: Susan G. Komen, Planned Parenthood controversy

02 Feb

Once a mere shade on the color wheel, pink has become a unifying symbol not only for those affected by breast cancer, but women everywhere searching for a cure. It seems you can’t go anywhere without stumbling upon a pink ribbon, pink t-shirts, pink frying pans, pink cars—you name it. Yet, a color that was once so uniting has, as of late, become the root of one of the most polarizing social controversies—pro-life or pro-choice?

Earlier this week, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the nation’s largest breast cancer charity that raises money for breast cancer research and preventative care for women all over the country, announced they would pull their funding from Planned Parenthood. Those rallying around Komen are thrilled the foundation will no longer fund an organization that provides women abortions, however, what they fail to realize is that Planned Parenthood is not simply an abortion clinic.

According to Planned Parenthood, over 4 million breast exams have been given over the past five years, with nearly 170,000 exams being the result of Komen grants. Nevertheless, there are still those who view Planned Parenthood as place to kill unborn babies and refuse to acknowledge their work with not only breast cancer, but screenings for ovarian and cervical cancer, HPV tests, and female infertility.

While many claims have been made by Komen advocates that the decision was made due to changes in criteria for giving grants and not because of political pressure, it seems all too coincidental. It is an election year after all, and when you’re dealing with such strong advocacy, no decision is made completely free of political influence.

Those rallying behind Planned Parenthood have already attempted to compensate for the $700,00 loss. Donors helped Planned Parenthood raise $400,000 in just 24 hours after the decision.

Unfortunately, when we deal with women’s health issues, women very often get the short end of the stick. Let’s hope Planned Parenthood doesn’t suffer too great of a loss and the backlash Komen is facing will be enough to garner at least a reconsideration of the pulled funding.

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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in JRNL 305


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