31 January 2012
Everyone deserves a lifetime.
It's a wonderful ideal; do whatever we have to in order to raise money to eradicate a disease that still takes far too many lives every year.
Apparently, though, the Susan G. Komen Foundation has agreed, in theory, that everyone deserves a lifetime EXCEPT people who have to rely on--because they don't have insurance and can't afford a mammogram or basic breast health care--Planned Parenthood.
One of the things I appreciated about SGK was that they stood up to the far right wingers who decried the fact that money was going to a place that performed abortions. In this, I don't care about pro-choice or anti-choice or whether Planned Parenthood hands out condoms and birth control pills; what mattered to me was that women who needed it had a place to go to get a breast exam and paid-for referral for a mammogram. Funds from the Komen Foundation did not go towards abortion; the money went wholly towards providing mammograms, breast cancer prevention and education, and basic breast health care. For a woman with no resources, PP was a place to go that would get them pointed in the right direction.
This IS a pro-life thing. Women without access to basic care still have the right to life. Their lives are just as valuable as anyone else's. Even if you believe abortion is wrong, you can't deny that any individual has a right to the continuation of their life as much as you believe that fetus has a right to its life. And today the Susan G Komen Foundation buckled to political pressure and pulled funding for Planned Parenthood.
It amounts to a loss of nearly 200,000 breast exams each year. Doesn't sound like a lot? TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND women need breast exams from Planned Parenthood every year.
My knee jerk reaction is to say that unless they change their stance, I won't be walking or crewing for them again. There are alternatives: I can walk in the Avon Walk this year instead; same basic principle, walk until you feel like your feet are gonna fall off, then get up and do it again. But unless SGK reverses this horrible, politically motivated decision, I'm fairly sure I won't participate in a 3 Day again. And that's sad, because I've met the nicest people and made the greatest friends doing this.
I'm pissed off. I am mad as hell. I didn't raise money and walk my ass off to deny care to anyone. I did it to make care more accessible. For that lofty ideal of EVERYONE deserves a lifetime, not just everyone with good insurance.