I Stand with Planned Parenthood.

Three years ago, I was exceptionally fortunate to participate in one of the coolest fundraising events of my life – the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure. Not only was it a 60-mile walk over three days, but to be allowed to participate you had to raise $2,300 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

3 Day Walk

It was a group effort. That's me in the middle : )

I was exceptionally proud that, thanks to an amazing outpouring of support from friends and family, I not only met the fundraising goal, but walked every single step of those 60 miles. My feet were blistered, my legs were sore, but my heart was soaring and my spirits were high when I made the final steps across the finish line.

The finish line

Team Cancer Schmancer celebrating victory!

It makes me sad to think that I’m most likely never going to participate in this event again, but the truth is I can’t continue to support Susan G. Komen. I can’t support an organization the pulls valuable funding for pre-cancer screening and mammograms for poverty-stricken men and women in order to further an anti-choice agenda that does exactly the opposite of caring about women.

For those of you who live under a rock, on Wednesday Susan G. Komen announced that, due to new funding rules, they were going to pull their grants from Planned Parenthood. Grants that were specifically restricted and earmarked for cancer screening for impoverished and uninsured women. Though the new rule declares that no grants will be given to organizations currently under local, state, or federal investigation (and Planned Parenthood is currently under an exceptionally partisan Congressional investigation over use of federal funds), Planned Parenthood was the only organization affected by this rule. No matter that Susan G. Komen currently supports an organization funded by Penn State (currently under federal investigation) and accepts funds from Bank of America (currently under federal investigation) – the possibility of a woman seeking a legal (though politically controversial) medical procedure in the same facility where a person was getting a Susan G. Komen funded cancer screening is too much for Susan G. Komen to tolerate.

I won’t go into too much detail about why Susan G. Komen’s decision was obviously politically motivated, or the PR nightmare they now face, or how overnight Susan G. Komen has become Planned Parenthood’s biggest fundraiser, or how top Susan G. Komen officials are resigning in disagreement, or the fact that Michael Bloomberg is matching up to $250,000 in donations to Planned Parenthood’s Breast Health Fund. I don’t need to – this post is late and the Internet is on it.

What I will do, however, is to encourage my readers to make a donation to Planned Parenthood. If you vehemently are against Planned Parenthood, consider making a donation to other women’s health funds, or the American Cancer Society. Don’t buy Susan G. Komen sponsored products. Consider boycotting their sponsors. Write letters. Sign petitions. Don’t assume your voice won’t be heard. Even if this is truly about Susan G. Komen shifting their focus from education and prevention, it’s still harmful to the thousands of impoverished and uninsured women each year who were able to catch their cancer or live another year in peace, or who may not know as much about breast cancer and early detection signs and risk factors as Susan G. Komen would like to think.

Speak up about women’s health. As a woman, I am tired of my body and my health being used as a pawn in a political game, one that is largely a man’s game. I stand up for women, and I stand with Planned Parenthood. I hope you do the same.


4 thoughts on “I Stand with Planned Parenthood.

  1. I’m not used to my career field making the news for a negative reason. So while this is sad, its very interesting to watch this all go down.

    Its reaffrimed for me that a lot of people do care about women’s health, at least.

    • I have been really surprised with the outpour of support for Planned Parenthood – even more, it seems, than when the government was considering defunding it. It just shows how passionate people are about issues that are near and dear to them. For me, at least, it felt like Susan G. Komen broke my trust and broke a promise. And while I know that sounds absurd, because Komen is more a corporation than a non-profit, it still hurt, and the fact that they appear to be going after another organization near and dear to me made it personal.

      • On one hand, its nice knowing that the majority of people seem to respect a woman’s right to choose. On the other hand, they only seem to say so when something comes close to threating it. In a week, a month, a year, will these people still be speaking up? Or will they go silent again while the anti-choicers tell women who need abortions that they’re murders. I’m a “grown up” who’s never been pregnant and it gets to me. I can’t image being a scared “girl” in that situation.

        I knew Susan G Komen had some issues – I only donated cause it was you guys – but I guess in the end, I really thought that stopping breast cancer was their number one concern.

        Did you see the affilate that is against this new policy? I wonder if other affilates in blue areas will follow suit.

      • I saw the Oregon chapter on your Twitter feed. I know that the Denver chapter isn’t happy with it, even though they were one of the few that actually got grant money from them this year. The executive director of our chapter was on the news last night expressing her disappointment – it’s like the local levels can see the hypocrisy but the board just can’t.

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