On Tuesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry stopped by to lend a little good-old-boy masculinity to the opening of a branch of Houston’s The Source For Women, a crisis pregnancy center that Perry touted as the future of Texas’ new Women’s Health Program–a program explicitly designed and intended to serve women who are not, and don’t want to be, pregnant.
Komen’s ostensible new strategy, to focus its prevention grants “only on mammograms,” would not only exclude Planned Parenthood clinics from eligibility, but would also deny tens of thousands of low-income and uninsured women medically-indicated primary preventive breast health services and, potentially, leave many with undiagnosed breast cancers.
This past week’s debacle with the Susan G. Komen Foundation brought back ugly memories of the Global Gag Rule.
ThinkProgress reports that Ari Fleischman, former press secretary for George W. Bush and prominent right-wing pundit, was secretly involved as early as last fall in planning Komen’s break with Planned Parenthood.
I am a recent member of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Young Women’s National Advisory Council, a previous director of Stony Brook University School of Medicine’s chapter of Medical Students for Choice, and a future family medicine physician. I was incredibly disappointed by Susan G. Komen’s recent decision to end its funding of breast health programs at Planned Parenthood affiliates across the United States.
The Komen Foundation’s statement says that it “will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.” But this is NOT a reversal of any kind.
I’d like to dissect how Komen for the Cure completely destroyed a brand 3 decades in the making and how they’re now a different organization with a different future (if they even have one), whether they like it or not. My goal here is to help people understand this so you don’t make the same mistakes.
In the wake of the attacks on Planned Parenthood by Congressman Cliff Stearns and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, social media and tech guru Deanna Zandt created a tumblr this week at which women are telling their stories about how Planned Parenthood saved their lives through early cancer detection and other means.
Writing in The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg reports that sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process said recent policies were adopted specifically to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
This week it became clear there are things more important to the Susan G. Komen Foundation–the fundraising giant that each year during breast cancer awareness month virtually swathes the United States in pink, a la Christo–than ensuring women are able to access exams for early detection of breast cancer. In a word: Politics.