Posts Tagged ‘Funding’

The “Susan G. Komen for the Cure” Flip-Flop Flap

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Drawing a Dotted Line?

I’ve been watching the latest uproar over the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood flap, and I’ve been wondering how long it would be until the Komen group back-tracked and started to retrace its steps back to the left.  You see, I’ve known about this group for many years, and once had some involvement with it when a dear friend of mine, a fellow college student, was stricken with breast cancer and all that comes after.  She was the wife of a soldier, and the mother of three children, and in her mid-thirties, she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer.  She underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and went through all the trauma in her life and with her family associated with the disease, but ultimately, five years after she had first screened clear of cancer following her treatment, the cancer was back with a vengeance and in the space of two years, she was gone.

It was in this context that I first became aware of the Komen foundation, and it was not long after that my friend became aware of their ties to Planned Parenthood. Like many Christians, she was appalled, and she decided to look for other ways to help the cause to which she was now tied.  It’s a dilemma many Christians have faced, as they wish to contribute to the search for a cure to breast cancer, but like so many good causes, there are often back-side politics not viewable by the public.  This week, when the Komen outfit announced that it would no longer give money to Planned Parenthood, they said they were doing so because that organization is under investigation, but I knew when they said that they would soon backtrack as the abortion profiteers at Planned Parenthood wouldn’t be able to let it go easily.

The problem is this, and I think it’s no more difficult than this: The Komen outfit needs to disentangle itself from Planned Parenthood.  There are too many other paths available to mammogram screenings without relying on Planned Parenthood, an organization which now turns out, contrary to what was said in the press earlier Friday, does not provide mammography at any of their facilities, but merely refers women to places that do. Part of the controversy arises because the Susan G Komen folks have not been forthcoming all along.  I remember when my friend discovered that Komen was sending some money to Planned Parenthood, and she was disappointed to say the least.  Her question to me at the time had been: “Why would they drag this ugly political issue with such profound moral implications into what should be a straight-forward pursuit of a cure for Breast Cancer?”

It’s true, and I think it’s a good question that Komen for the Cure should be asked.  After all, Planned Parenthood is not specialist in breast cancer, whatever they may claim, and it’s outlandish and foolish for Komen to maintain this relationship.  When they first announced their withdrawal of financial grants to Planned Parenthood, their donations soared.  This should give you some idea of how many people have withheld their support due to the politicization of the Foundation by virtue of the inclusion of funds to Planned Parenthood.  Too many people have sincere questions of conscience with the divisive issue that is  abortion to simply ignore the funding of Planned Parenthood.  If Komen was institutionally smart, they’d run from Planned Parenthood, but of course, they will not, and now they are clearly going back on the issue.

They point to three clinics at which mammograms are done, but as the story at demonstrates, there are no mammography facilities at those clinics, and they simply refer women on to other facilities.  Surely, Komen could do this without the abortion provider as a middle-man.  This entire episode will wind up causing more trouble for Komen, and it’s sad, because they do some tremendous work, but they should take greater care not to cause some to abstain from involvement.  This entire episode does more to ultimately hurt their cause than to help it, and knowing the suffering so many women face as a result of this horrendous disease, I can’t imagine why they would continue to do anything that would hinder their pursuit of a cure, but now it seems rather than serving the interests of their noble cause, they are instead buckling to the radical Planned Parenthood.  People of faith who care deeply about the search for a cure to breast cancer are right to wonder about their organizational priorities.