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Komen & Planned Parenthood


Komen & Planned Parenthood

February 3, 2012 - 01:38 PM
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Well, we're thinking you've likely heard this by now. Susan G. Komen For The Cure announced this week that they would no longer be funding Planned Parenthood's breast cancer screening programs that provide breast health education, clinical breast exams and mammogram referrals to low income and uninsured women, often in rural or under served areas, who do not have other means of accessing these services. Komen stated that the decision was a result of a new internal policy that prohibited funding to any organization that was under local, state or federal investigation. As a result of a Republican congressman calling the organization's expenditures into question, Planned Parenthood is now technically under federal investigation, and was disqualified from Komen's grant program.  There has been an enormous amount of discussion from many different view points on this topic and the role that politics did or did not play in Komen's decision to defund these programs as they have faced pressure for years from conservative and anti-abortion groups to cease their funding to Planned Parenthood. Today, as a result of the public outcry against their decision, Komen announced that they have amended their grant guidelines to specify that an organization must be under a criminal investigation in order to be disqualified from receiving funds from Komen. Planned Parenthood is not under a criminal investigation and thus funding has been restored for the organization''s breast cancer screening programs.

The Pink Cart is not affiliated with either organization and therefore we don't feel the need to comment on the how or why of this situation. What we do know is this; the loss of funding for programs that give access to life saving health services to individuals without the means to gain access to these services any other way threatens the lives of women across the country and weakens our collective effort to bring an end to Breast Cancer, and this is completely unacceptable, regardless of what organization provides or funds them. What we on The Pink Cart Team see in this situation is an ugly truth. That despite the progress we have made in developing new detection and treatment technologies, there remains an enormous gap in giving women of all backgrounds equal and easy access to simple, routine care that quite literally is the difference between life and death.

This situation is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on how truly committed we are to eliminating Breast Cancer. We know what we have to do to keep ourselves healthy and the many ways we can lower our personal risk of developing this disease. But the emotional outcry against Komen's decision shows us a deeper element of the fight against breast cancer. That if we are not doing absolutely everything in our power to make sure not only the women we know, but all women in our communities, have reliable and affordable access to breast health services, regardless of income, ability, race or age, we have failed.

Whether you supported Komen's initial decision or stood with Planned Parenthood on this issue really isn't the point. The point is that all of us have a moral and ethical responsibility to know what services are available to women in our communities and to do everything in our power to ensure that all of us have the ability to access them. It's time for us all to truly walk our talk in our Battle Against Breast Cancer - make some calls, do some research, find out what organizations are doing for women in your area and then SUPPORT THEM!!!  Pound the pavement, recruit volunteers, give your time, and if you have the means - take out your checkbook. Because what's at issue here is ultimately not a conservative agenda or a liberal agenda; it is broader than a debate over abortion. What is at stake here is whether or not we are creating a world where every woman has an equal opportunity to live.

So, ladies and gentlemen, the real question now is - what are you going to do?

Posted By Caitlin -

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