31 January 2012

This is one of several Susan G Komen shirts I own; I have a couple of sweatshirts, t-shirts, even a backpack. But this one has a resonating tone, which is why I bought it.

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.


Gemini and Ichiro said...

I find it heart breaking to think that Komen has sunk to pulling their funding because of the issues. When did we lose compassion in our country?

Just Ducky said...

The friends you made will still be your friends. We all deserve a good life, access to healthcare etc. 200,000 people are too many to potentially waste.

Mila said...

I thought of you as soon as I saw the article. *hugs* You are a good person, and I really respect your decisions.

Angel, Kirby and Max said...

I agree with you! They buckled under where they never did before!

gizzylaw said...

I became your friend through SGK and I will ALWAYS be your friend. I will not be supporting SGK. It is not a matter of my beliefs on pregnancy. It is about the too obvious political bullying. The "investigation" is a political move based on nothing and the whole thing stinks of "McCarthyism"---believe what I believe or I will make your life miserable. Now SGK has made the lives of thousands of women miserable. I, too, am mad as hell. Whatever you decide to do, though, I will support you in because you are my friend.

Christie Critters said...

I haven't been a walker, but have supported walkers. I am quite troubled by this decision on the part of the SGK organization.
I should be about breast health, not about politics.

Ivan and Izzy from WMD said...


I haven't gotten so wound up about an issue in I don't know how long. I have written to the Komen Foundation to tell them they will never receive another dime from me. I have also signed a petition and will protest in other ways when they arise. I have been a supporter of Planned Parenthood since the 1970s, when I was young and too poor to afford any other healthcare. Luckily for me things finally changed in the late 1980s when I finally had health insurance, but I have to tell you, at 57 I am damn tired of fighting for basic rights for women.

Please know that I still support you but I can no longer support Komen. And thanks for letting me vent.

William's mom.